The demographic situation in Morocco continues to change. The segment of people aged 60 and over should equal that of those under 15 by 2040, hence the need to strengthen the support and care system for the elderly. This finding is delivered by a study by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
In its case study on the economy of services and care for the elderly in Morocco entitled “The economic empowerment of women in Arab countries: Developing the care economy”, ESCWA reports that the Moroccan population has multiplied by 7 in 120 years, thus increasing from 5 million inhabitants in 1900 to 36 million in 2020.
For the Commission, While Morocco is often portrayed as a demographically young country, with people under 15 accounting for a quarter of its population in 2020, this will be less and less true in the years to come.“.
According to the study, this age group, which represented 44% of the country’s population in 1960, fell to 31% in 2004, then to 28.2% in 2014 and should represent 21.7% of the population. in 2030 and 17.9% in 2050. In addition, 51% of the elderly are women, a rate that is expected to increase to 52.2% in 2030, due to the faster increase in life expectancy in female birth, explain the authors of the report.
In addition, the percentage of people aged over 60 has increased from 6.3% in 1982 to 8% in 2004, to 9.4% in 2014, to reach 11% of the total population in 2021. These experts estimate that the rate for this age group should reach 15.4% in 2030 and 23.2% in 2050.
” Unprecedented situation in the history of Moroccan demography, by 2040, the relative share of people aged 60 and over should equal that of people under 15, both then being around 19.5 per cent of the total population.“, they clarified.
ESCWA experts indicate that the population aged 60 and over is expected to triple in just over three decades, i.e. the period between 2014 and 2050, rising from 3.17 million in 2014 to 10 million in 2050. aged 70 and over, their number is expected to nearly quadruple from almost 1.4 million in 2014 to 5 million in 2050, while those aged 80 and over are expected to increase to 1.47 million in 2050.
” We can thus speak of a real metamorphosis to qualify the demographic changes to come in Morocco, insofar as they will also result in a very rapid increase in the number of elderly and very elderly people.“, they point out.
As for the institutional and political framework governing the support and services provided to the elderly, Morocco has undergone significant changes, in particular by adopting the 2011 Constitution which guarantees the rights to equality, access to social protection, health care, decent housing and advocates the implementation of public policies in favor of vulnerable people.
ESCWA recalls, in this regard, article 31 of the Constitution which stipulates that “The State, public establishments and local authorities work to mobilize all the means available to facilitate equal access for citizens and citizens to the conditions allowing them to enjoy the rights to health care; social protection, medical cover and solidarity mutual or organized by the State; […] to decent housing…”.
Under Article 34, “Public authorities shall develop and implement policies for persons and categories with specific needs. To this end, they ensure in particular to deal with and prevent the vulnerability of certain categories of women and mothers, children and the elderly…”, to “rehabilitate them and integrate them into social and civil life” and to “facilitate their enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized for all”.
In addition to these articles, several other laws have been adopted in order to promote the rights of the elderly, to encourage their participation and enhance their capacities, potentialities and skills in the economic, social and cultural fields, and to improve their living conditions.
However, it emerges from the investigations carried out within the framework of this study that there are currently very few establishments offering home services adapted to the needs of elderly people with a loss of autonomy, or dependent people and those close to them. These persons. Those identified recently appeared recently, during the 2010s, and are only accessible to a very limited segment of the Moroccan population, given the high cost of their services.
The offer of training in the home help professions intended for the elderly, and especially for the elderly with a loss of autonomy, is currently very limited, which may also justify this lack.
According to ESCWA, there is a need to develop and strengthen a multitude of socially accepted services, including day centers and home help services. It is also essential to work for the redistribution of unpaid care, while avoiding further feminization of the sector, since women play a major role in the support provided to the elderly.