Adult Out-Migration and Multi-Dimensional Well-Being of Elderly Parents ‘Left Behind’: A Cross-Sectional Study of India

Shinjini Ray, Pravat Bhandari


Obtaining data from a nationally representative survey of old age population—Building a Knowledge Base on Population Ageing in India (BKPAI) comprising 9852 older adults, the present study empirically evaluates different dimensions of wellbeing among Indian elderly individuals left behind by their adult migrant children. We focus on five different dimensions of well-being among elderly, viz., physical, psychological, subjective, social and housing. Data were analyzed using propensity score matching technique. Findings suggest that the elderly individuals with adult migrant children were more likely to attain better physical and subjective well-being whereas the migration of adult children showed adverse effect on the psychological and social well-being indicators. However, results did not show any statistically significant association between migration and housing well-being of left behind elderly. Given the rising proportion of ageing population in India combined with an increasing trend in rural-urban adult migration, our findings suggest that the policy-makers should pay more attention to the migration status of adult children to keep track of the psychological and social welfare among Indian older adults.

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