The Dependency Ratio is a measure which shows the load of economic active population has in supporting the young and the old population who are considered to be dependents.
The Age Dependency Ratio therefore compares the number of persons aged 0 – 14 years and those aged 65 years with the ones aged 15 – 64 years who are considered to be economically active.
Data reveals that, the dependence ratio of residents of Mbeya Region improved with the years. The dependence ratio in 1967 was 104.17 slightly dropped to 101.44 in 1978 and dropped further to 96.38 in 1988 and reached 90.4 in 2002.
Table 1.16 shows that, the number of dependants in Mbeya Region increased from …….. in 1988 to 979,591 in 2002. At district level, Ileje district had the highest, which was estimated to be 100.1 dependants per 100 active persons in 2002 while Mbeya city had the lowest accounted at 72.2 persons.
The drop of dependants against breadwinners is a positive sign of development since most of people are in the working age group though can have negative impact if they will not work.