RAMALLAH-(BNEWS) – The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a reported issued today on the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons that 6% of the population in Palestine is aged 60 years and above.
The world celebrates the International Day of Older Persons on October 1st of each year in recognition of their efforts and to highlight the significant contributions made by the elderly for the society, in addition to raising awareness of the problems, obstacles and challenges that the elderly face.
The PCBS said that the Palestinian society is considered a young society, where the percentage of young people is high and the percentage of the elderly is relatively low. In mid-year 2022, the number of the elderly aged 60 and above 297,069 persons (4.7%) in Palestine representing about 5.5% of the total population, at 196,251 person constitute about 6.2% of the total population in the West Bank, and 100,818 person constitute 4.7% of the total population in Gaza Strip.
Even though the percentage of the elderly will be increasing during the coming years in Palestine, their percentage will remain relatively low and would not exceed 6% during the current decade. It is expected to start increasing after the mid of next decade.
The report said that the number of the male elderly aged 60 years and above reached about 144 thousand in mid-year 2022 in Palestine, representing 5.3% of the total number of the males in Palestine, compared to 153 thousand female elderly, representing 5.8% of the total number of females, with a sex ratio of 93.9 males per 100 females.
22% of households are headed by an elderly person in Palestine in 2021 (24% in the West Bank and 19% in Gaza Strip). The data indicated that the average size of the households headed by an elderly person is relatively small as it reached 3.4 individuals compared to 5.5 for the households that are not headed by an elderly person, the PCBS report explained.
The PCBS noted that 92% of the male elderly in Palestine are married compared to 49% of the female elderly who are married. The percentage of the elderly widowed males reached 7% compared to 43% of the elderly widowed females in 2021, knowing that the percentage of the elderly widowed males in 2007 in Palestine was 8%, compared to 43% among the female elderly.
About 71% of the elderly suffer from chronic diseases according to the results of the survey of smoking and tobacco consumption 2021, and the percentage of the elderly who suffer from chronic diseases in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is about 72% and 69%, respectively, and this percentage was about 66% among males and 76% among females.
The results of the Smoking and Tobacco Consumption Survey indicated that about 21% of the elderly were currently smoker in 2021, as this percentage reached about 38% among the elderly males smokers and about 5% of the female smokers 60 years and over, and the percentage of the elderly smokers in the West Bank was about 26% (about 45% among males and 8% among females), and about 12% of the elderly in the Gaza Strip were smoker (about 25% among males and 1% among females).
About 33% of the elderly who did not complete any educational stage reached 20% among males and 45% among females, whereas the percentage of the elderly who completed intermediate diploma degrees and higher did not exceed 16% in 2021.
Educational status data for the year 2021 showed that there is a marked difference in percentage between males and females regarding educational attainment levels. In a sense, the percentage of the male elderly who obtained intermediate diploma and higher in Palestine reached 23% compared to 8% of the female elderly. Also, the percentage of individuals aged 18 years and above who obtained intermediate diploma and higher reached 28% of the total population that aged 18 years and above in Palestine (26% for males and 24% for females).
Data showed that the percentage of the participation of the elderly in labour force during 2021 was 14% (18% in the West Bank and 6% in Gaza Strip).
Data showed that the percentage of the elderly (60 years and above) who own a mobile phone reached 78% in Palestine during the first half of 2022, (82% in the West Bank and 71% in Gaza strip). The survey results also showed that there is a gender gap regarding owning a mobile phone, where this percentage reached 87% for the male elderly compared to 70% for the female elderly. While the percentage of the elderly who own a smart phone was 53% in Palestine during the first half of 2022, (62% in the West Bank and 37% in Gaza Strip). According to sex, this percentage reached 56% for the male elderly compared to 51% for the female elderly.
55% of the elderly use internet from anywhere in Palestine during the first half of 2022, (60% in the West Bank and 44% in Gaza Strip). According to sex, this percentage reached 60% for the male elderly and 50% for the female elderly, the PCBS report concluded.