By Sana Elouazi
By Sana Elouazi
Rabat – Life expectancy at birth in Morocco has increased from 42.9 years in 1950-1955 to 77.6 years in 2015, revealed a study published Wednesday following the International Day of Older Persons.
The study, carried out by the Ministry of Family, Solidarity, Equality and Social Development, in partnership with the National Observatory for Human Development (NOHD), noted that at the age of 60, Moroccan women in 2010 were expected to live 21.6 years longer instead of just 17.7 more years in 1980, while men were expected to live 19.5 years instead of 17.
The dramatic increase is good news for Morocco, as according to the World Health Organization, life expectancy at birth reflects the overall mortality level of a population and reveals the mortality pattern that prevails across all age groups in a given year.
Despite this evolution, the study also reveals that medical and social support is still lacking, especially in a context marked by nuclearization of households and the intensification of residential mobility,which have a significant impact on the care of older people.
According to the 2014 census, nearly 3.2 million Moroccans are aged 60 and over, up from less than 1 million in 1960. The study further revealed that by 2030, the number of people aged 60 and over will almost double to reach 5.8 million, representing 20 percent of the population.
Ageing will be the main trend in the future demographic modifications. By 2050, Morocco will have more than 10 million elderly people, notes the joint report.
The study found that about 60 percent of the elderly live in urban areas, with 20.7 percent residing in the region of Casablanca-Settat.
The report also indicates that from 2006-07 to 2015, poverty decreased in cities from 4.9 percent to 0.7 percent and in the countryside from 14 percent to 4.5 percent.
At the end of this study, the ministry suggests that the profound changes that have occurred in Moroccan society – in socioeconomic and demographic makeup as well in family structures, lifestyles, and consumption – are threatening the traditional family model and community solidarity.
In order to meet the resulting challenges arising from this analysis, the ministry recommends a number of measures: improving the supply of collective accommodation for the elderly, strengthening the provision of health care, developing of social assistance training, monitoring and evaluating an integrated public policy regarding the elderly, andmobilizing sufficient resources to improve the conditions of the elderly in social welfare institutions.
The Minister of Family, Solidarity, Equality and Social Development, Bassima Hakkaoui, stressed that this research helps draw up the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of the situation of the elderly and evaluate the social protection and the care they enjoy in social welfare institutions.