over 10 years ago by Manthri.lk - Research Team under in Analysis

It is well known that Sri Lanka has an ageing population; that is, the percentage of people above retirement age is increasing rapidly. It can now be revealed that the problem is more acute in Sri Lanka’s parliament. The Members of Parliament are much older compared to the eligible general population, and, what’s more – they are ageing faster!  

Data from Manthri.lk, a pioneering trilingual website profiling parliamentary activities, shows the extent of the problem.  

Aged Parliamentarians:
In the current parliament, the oldest MP is aged 86 and the youngest is aged 27. Suppose then that 25 years is a minimum feasible age for entering parliament. In the general population only 11.5% of those above 25 years are also above the age of 65. However, that figure is doubled - at 23% - in the Sri Lankan parliament.  

In the age-groups between 40 and 50, the percentage in parliament closely fits the percentage in the population. But in every age-group above 50 years, the percentage in parliament is about double the percentage in the eligible general population (Exhibit 1).  

The left side of Exhibit 1 illustrates those in a given age group, as a percentage of population over 25 years old. The right side illustrates the percentage of parliamentarians in each age group, as derived from Manthri.lk.

And, Ageing Rapidly: Not only are the parliamentarians substantially aged, relative to the population above 25, they are also ageing rapidly. Currently, almost half the MPs in parliament are above age 55. But in 15 years, almost half the MPs will be above age 65! That means the percentage of the above 65s in parliament will double by 2030.  

Should Sri Lankan voters be looking out more for younger MPs, or will greater age bring more wisdom? Your thoughts are welcome at www.manthri.lk/en/blog; or by text to 071-4639882.