Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS)
On The Occasion of the International Day of Older Persons 01/10/2017
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics presents this release on the situation of the elderly aging 60 years and over on the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons October 1st.
Elderly People in Palestine represent 4.6% of the total population in mid 2017
The Palestinian society is considered a young society where the percentage of children is high and the percentage of the elderly is relatively low. In midist 2017, the percentage of the elderly aged 60 and over reached 4.6% of the population in Palestine (5.1% in West Bank and 3.9% in Gaza Strip). Even though, the percentage of the elderly will be increasing during the coming years in Palestine, their percentage will stay relatively low and will not be exceeding 4.6% during the current decade. The elderly percentage may start increasing after year 2020.
Palestine has been witnessing an improvement in life expectancy since the beginning of the last two decades. Life expectancy has increased about 5-8 years during the last two decades. In particular, life expectancy increased for both males and females from 67.0 years in 1992 to 72.3 years for males and 75.4 years for females by the midst of 2017. Life expectancy is expected to increase during the coming years to reach 72.8 years for males and 75.7 years for females in 2020. The increase of life expectancy rate at birth resulted in an increase in the elderly number in Palestine which requires studying and researching the elderly situation in Palestine.
An increase in the Females percentage against Males percentage
The percentage of males aged 60 and over in Palestine reached 4.2% in 2017 against 5.1% for females with sex ratio 86.0 males against 100 females.
One out of six households is headed by an elderly person
17.2% of households headed by an elderly person according to labour force survey 2nd quarter 2017 reached in Palestine (18.5% in West Bank and 14.9% in Gaza Strip). The data indicates that the average size of the households headed by an elderly person is relatively small and reached 3.3 individuals (3.0 in West Bank and 4.0 in Gaza Strip), against 5.9 for the households that are not headed by an elderly person.
About Half of the elderly females are widows
91.9% of the elderly males in Palestine are married against 46.5% of the elderly females. The percentage of the elderly widowed males reached 7.4% against 44.4% for females in the 2nd quarter of the year 2017.
About half of the working elderly are self-employed
The percentage of the elderly aged 60 and over participating in the labor force reached about 12.1% of the total elderly in Palestine during 2nd quarter of 2017, (15.3% in West Bank and 5.6% in Gaza Strip). The unemployment rate of the elderly in Palestine reached 11.6% (7.1% in West Bank and 36.5% in Gaza Strip). Data also indicates that 51.5% of the working elderly are self-employed; while 33.1% are paid employees, 10.6% are employers against 4.8% are unpaid family workers.
High illiteracy rate among the elderly
Data indicates that there is a high percentage of illiterate elderly in 2016, the percentage of illiteracy for elderly is 25.5% of the total elderly persons. They represent about 62.0% of the illiterate persons in Palestine. The percentage of the elderly who have not completed any educational stage reached 46.5% (28.4% males and 61.8% females).
The percentage of the elderly who obtained diploma and higher is 11.2% in Palestine. Data on illiteracy in 2016 indicates that there is an obvious difference between males and females in educational attainment where the percentage of the elderly males who had obtained a diploma and higher reached 18.0% against 5.5% for elderly females. Needless to note that the illiteracy percentage of individuals aged 15 and over does not exceed 3.1% (1.4% males against 4.8% females). The percentage of individuals aged 15 and over who obtained diploma and higher reached 18.8% of the total population that aged 15 and over in Palestine (18.2% males and 19.2% females).