Aging and Development

Economic Roles of Older Adults

Contrary to common ‘old age dependency ratio’ notions, a majority of older men and women in most SSA countries continue to be economically active across a spectrum of sectors and roles. One example is smallholder agriculture, where older farmers may now predominate in many farming communities as a result of disinterest or rural-urban outmigration of younger age groups. We examine the nature and scope of older people’s economic functions and their implications specifically for the achievement of a demographic dividend in Africa.

Featured Project


Relevance of Older People to Post 2015 Development in SSA: Establishing Basic Parameters

Program: Aging and Development

This project generated- through a systematic secondary analysis of (sub-) nationally representative data from Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia and Zambia – a first body of sound evidence on the scope and patterns of older people’s economic activity, role in smallholder agriculture, intergenerational impacts and age-based inequitable limitations in access to basic services.


Project Period

  • 2013 -2014


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