Population retired, sick or too old to work


The population classified as retired, sick or too old to work is that part of the total population aged 10 years and older who are not engaged in economic work to support themselves. However it does not include students or people who are involved in household duties.

Census staff interviewed each family about the economically active family members aged 10 years and older with regard to whether and how they had made their money in the 12 months prior to the Census. Results indicate that 16.6% of the economically non-active population or 4.3% of the population older than 10 years are either retired, or sick, or too old to work.

Map G.3 shows the distribution of the percentages in five relative frequency classes, ranging from less than 2.5% to over 10%. It can be seen that the villages with the highest percentage of people unable to work are found in the mountainous north of the country and in some parts of the central region of the Lao PDR. Nevertheless, the first impression of the map is that light green and green are the predominant colours indicating the relative frequencies of people unable to work in the range of from under 2.5% to 5%.
Percentages of the population unable to work of 7.5% to 10% and even higher are found scattered in many villages of the country – notably in the provinces of Phongsaly, Oudomxay, Luangnamtha, and Xayaboury, and furthermore in the east of the province of Huaphanh and Xiengkhuang and into Borikhamxay. A comparable situation prevails in the east of Savannakhet and Saravane as well as in eastern Champasack. 

It is very revealing to compare this map to the prevalence of disabilities (Maps E.3 to E.5). We see that the two indicators are closely related. In villages where this phenomenon is combined with a high number of young children (see Map B.3), the corresponding dependency ratio rises significantly (see Map B.5).

Overall it can be seen that in some villages the percentage of the population who are unable to earn their own income amounts to 7.5% and over. This is quite high, a burden to their families and a serious impediment to improving their living conditions.  This  important information sheds light on the basic information needed for policy making and planning in order to formulate better plans for development and in particular to satisfy the needs of those people who are unable to work. Many of these people may need assistance from the appropriate services with health care as the first priority and the improvement of social welfare as the second.




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