The proposed research will examine population aging in Africa in the era of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Recent signs of fertility decline coupled with changing in mortality patterns in sub-Saharan Africa are generating interests about population aging. Given the economic and social situation of African countries, population aging will have serious social consequences.
Countries hit by the HIV/AIDS pandemic will experience shifting population dynamics. Grandparents are becoming more involved in the care of young children because of the death of parents, or the abandoning children by parents who migrate to cities in search for work. Additionally, many elderly persons, especially women are living alone, because of the death of their adult children.
Census micro-data currently archived by the African Census Analysis Project provides an opportunity to examine levels, trends and the characteristics of aging in Africa. Some of the data sets contain detailed information on household as well as relationships of each household member to the head of household. Combining this information with Brass-type questions such as children born alive and surviving, questions on orphanhood and widowhood will allows us to examine the household living arrangements of the aged. We will use census micro-data from Kenya (1969, 1979, 1989); South Africa (1970, 1980, 1985, 1991, 1996); Lesotho (1986, 1996); Zambia (1980, 1990); The Gambia (1973, 1983, 1993); and Botswana (1981, 1991) to describe the aging process.