LASI Project

Longitudinal Ageing Study in India project

Although adult health and aging is increasingly attracting a substantial amount of attention, no comprehensive and internationally comparable survey data currently available in India covers the entire range of topics necessary for understanding the economic, social, psychological, and health aspects of adults and the aging process. The Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) project is designed to fill this gap.

LASI focuses on the health, economic, and social well-being of India's elderly population. The concept of LASI is comparable to the Health and Retirement Study in the United States and is appropriately harmonized with other health and retirement studies, including its sister surveys in Asia, such as the Chinese Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study and the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging. This comparability allows cross-country comparison of these surveys. LASI considers the features that are unique to India, including its institutional and cultural characteristics.

LASI is a national landmark in the scientific research, which facilitates an improved comprehension of India’s adult health problems and population aging processes and the design of appropriate evidence-based policies for adults and older people. The LASI pilot survey can be used to implement the first two waves of a large-scale, national and state representative panel survey on the health, economic status, and social behaviors of older people in India. This project provides sufficient statistical information required to test hypotheses in subpopulations of interest. LASI data can improve the scientific knowledge and enlighten policymakers in India as well as around the world. Our public, internationally harmonized data are useful for cross-national comparative research studies on aging.

LASI is a national biennial survey involving the scientific investigation of the health, economic, and social determinants and consequences of population aging in India. LASI involves a national representative sample of 60,250 older adults of age 45 and more years, including their spouses (irrespective of their age) in 30 states and 6 union territories in India. This survey is to be conducted every 2 years for the next 25 years. Internationally harmonized, the de-identified panel data are collected to enable cross-national analyses and cross-state analyses of aging, health, economic status, and social behaviors in India. This research lays the foundation for national and state-level policies and assists in the development of required mid- and long-term policy solutions to address the challenges presented by increasing disease burden and population aging in India and other developing countries, particularly the Asian countries and wealthy industrialized countries.

The LASI team at IIPS successfully conducted the 2010 LASI pilot survey in four states, namely Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, and Rajasthan, to test survey tools and protocols and to learn lessons for the main wave. The analysis of LASI pilot data revealed insightful evidence on the reported and measured health status, social network characteristics, income and consumption, retirement, and pensions.

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