The Palestinian society is considered a young society where the percentage of children is high and the percentage of the elderly is relatively low, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said Sunday.

According to a report issued by PCBS on the situation of the elderly aging 60 years and over on the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons, marked on October 1st, in midist 2017, the percentage of the elderly aged 60 and over reached 4.6% of the population in Palestine (5.1% in West Bank and 3.9% in Gaza Strip).

Even though, the percentage of the elderly will be increasing during the coming years in Palestine, their percentage will stay relatively low and will not be exceeding 4.6% during the current decade. The elderly percentage may start increasing after year 2020.

According to the report, Palestine has been witnessing an improvement in life expectancy since the beginning of the last two decades. Life expectancy has increased about 5-8 years during the last two decades. In particular, life expectancy increased for both males and females from 67.0 years in 1992 to 72.3 years for males and 75.4 years for females by the midst of 2017.

The percentage of males aged 60 and over in Palestine reached 4.2% in 2017 against 5.1% for females with sex ratio 86.0 males against 100 females.

The date indicates that 17.2% of households are headed by an elderly person (18.5% in West Bank and 14.9% in Gaza Strip).

The percentage of the elderly aged 60 and over participating in the labor force reached about 12.1% of the total elderly in Palestine during the 2nd quarter of 2017, (15.3% in West Bank and 5.6% in Gaza Strip). The unemployment rate of the elderly in Palestine reached 11.6% (7.1% in West Bank and 36.5% in Gaza Strip).

Data also indicates that 51.5% of the working elderly are self-employed; while 33.1% are paid employees, 10.6% are employers against 4.8% are unpaid family workers.

That there is a high percentage of illiterate elderly in 2016, the percentage of illiteracy for elderly is 25.5% of the total elderly persons. They represent about 62.0% of the illiterate persons in Palestine.

The percentage of the elderly who obtained diploma and higher is 11.2% in Palestine. Data on illiteracy in 2016 shows that there is an obvious difference between males and females in educational attainment where the percentage of the elderly males who had obtained a diploma and higher reached 18.0% against 5.5% for elderly females