Social Networks and the Health of the Older Population in India

Mitali Sen, U.S. Census Bureau

In a country where social security and affordable health care are largely lacking for the older population, social networks become important to health and wellbeing. This paper uses the recent publicly released India Human Development Survey 2005 to analyze the relationship between social networks and various health outcomes of the older population. While there is growing evidence in the developed world as well as in some developing countries as to the significance of support networks to well being in later life, paucity of large scale data has limited the kind of studies done on the subject in India. Social networks are measured in this paper with a specific focus on contacts with three major institutions- medical care, education, and government- and their relationship to various health outcomes is analyzed using multiple regression models.

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Presented in Poster Session 2