Pensions and household structure of older persons in Namibia

  • D.J. Adamchak Department of Sociology, Kansas State University, USA

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to assess the role of pensions in households in Namibia. The study examines the impact of pensions on household income and household structure, and describes the characteristics of pension households. Namibia is one of two countries in sub-Saharan Africa which have a national non-contributory pension programme. Findings indicate that pensions in general are the main source of income for 11.8% of all households in Namibia and that the national pension is the main source of income for 10% of households. Pension households show evidence of the skip-generation phenomenon, where there is a smaller proportion of young adults and middle-aged persons in the household, particularly males, than in non-pension households. There is also a smaller proportion of children of household heads and a much larger proportion of grandchildren in pension households. Areas with high out-migration are the areas where pensions, particularly the national pension, are the main source of income, suggesting that the security which pensions offer to the extended family enables young adults to migrate for employment, or to extend the employment search, while their children are cared for by elderly parents or other elders in the family network.

References

Central Statistics Office. 1994. Living conditions in Namibia 1993/1994: economic and social indicators from Namibia Household Income and Expenditure Survey. Windhoek, Namibia: National Planning Commission.
Ministry of Health and Social Services. 1995. Personal communication. Windhoek. Namibia.
Republic of Namibia. 1994 1991 Population and Housing Census. Report B. Statistical tables. Volume I. Windhoek, Namibia: National Planning Commission, Central Statistics Office.
United Nations. 1991. World population prospects 1990. Population Studies No. 120. New York: Department of International Economic and Social Affairs.
World Bank. 1994. Averting the old age crisis: policies to protect the old and promote growth. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Published
1995-10-01