- Topic: Health: Population: Dynamics
- Definition: Age dependency ratio is the ratio of dependents--people younger than 15 or older than 64--to the working-age population--those ages 15-64. Data are shown as the proportion of dependents per 100 working-age population.
- Source: World Bank staff estimates based on age distributions of United Nations Population Division's World Population Prospects.
- Statistical concept and methodology: Dependency ratios capture variations in the proportions of children, elderly people, and working-age people in the population that imply the dependency burden that the working-age population bears in relation to children and the elderly. But dependency ratios show only the age composition of a population, not economic dependency. Some children and elderly people are part of the labor force, and many working-age people are not. Age structure in the World Bank's population estimates is based on the age structure in United Nations Population Division's World Population Prospects. For more information, see the original source.
- Development relevance: Patterns of development in a country are partly determined by the age composition of its population. Different age groups have different impacts on both the environment and on infrastructure needs. Therefore the age structure of a population is useful for analyzing resource use and formulating future policy and planning goals with regards infrastructure and development.
- General comments: Relevance to gender indicator: this indicator implies the dependency burden that the working-age population bears in relation to children and the elderly. Many times single or widowed women who are the sole caregiver of a household have a high dependency ratio.
- Limitations and exceptions: Because the five-year age group is the cohort unit and five-year period data are used in the United Nations Population Division's World Population Prospects, interpolations to obtain annual data or single age structure may not reflect actual events or age composition. For more information, see the original source.
List of countries ordered by: Age dependency ratio (% of working-age population)
Source: Health Nutrition and Population Statistics - World Bank - Downloaded in August 2017