Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 353–369 | Cite as

Socioeconomic Determinants of Health Inequalities Among the Older Population in India: A Decomposition Analysis

  • Srinivas Goli
  • Lucky Singh
  • Kshipra Jain
  • Ladumai Maikho Apollo Pou


This study quantified and decomposed health inequalities among the older population in India and analyzes how health status varies for populations between 60 to 69 years and 70 years and above. Data from the 60th round of the National Sample Survey (NSS) was used for the analyses. Socioeconomic inequalities in health status were measured by using Concentration Index (CI) and further decomposed to find critical determinants and their relative contributions to total health inequality. Overall, CI estimates were negative for the older population as a whole (CI = −0.1156), as well as for two disaggregated groups, 60 to 69 years (CI = −0.0943) and 70 years and above (CI = −0.08198). This suggests that poor health status is more concentrated among the socioeconomically disadvantaged older population. Decomposition analyses revealed that poor economic status (54 %) is the dominant contributor to total health inequalities in the older population, followed by illiteracy (24 %) and rural place of residence (20 %). Other indicators, such as religion, gender and marital status were positive, while Caste was negatively associated with health inequality in the older populations. Finally, a comparative assessment of decomposition results suggest that critical contributors for health inequality vary for the older population of 60 to 69 years and 70 years and above. These findings provide important insights on health inequalities among the older population in India. Implications are advanced.


Decomposition Health inequalities Older population Socioeconomic determinants 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Srinivas Goli
    • 1
  • Lucky Singh
    • 2
  • Kshipra Jain
    • 3
  • Ladumai Maikho Apollo Pou
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Development StudiesGiri Institute of Development Studies, Sector ‘0’Aliganj Housing SchemeLucknowIndia
  2. 2.School of Health Systems StudiesTata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)MumbaiIndia
  3. 3.International Institute for Population SciencesMumbaiIndia

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