There’s one thing for certain – we’re all getting older. And while the older amongst us may be no spring chickens any more, growing old gracefully is no bad thing. And with age comes wisdom. However, as the world population ages, will there be enough people to replace our younger selves?
A situation where there are more old people than young certainly has an effect on the world. A report by the Pew Research Center says that globally the number of people over 65 years old will triple by 2050, drastically altering some countries’ demographic make-up.
This growing and dependent population means that there is an increased demand for health and social care. Governments will struggle to provide satisfactory pensions, which are ultimately funded by taxes paid by the working population. And long-term, a smaller population of economically-active people may be a problem for companies trying to recruit staff.
Attitudes to an ageing population vary around the world. The Pew Research Center survey found that 87% of Japanese people were most concerned about it, while only 26% of people from the USA were. Here, immigration is helping to boost the younger workforce. Some countries thought the elderly should take care of themselves, while others thought it was the responsibility of the family. Many thought the government should be responsible.
But old age shouldn’t just be seen negatively. Elderly people have knowledge and experience they can pass on. Some have wealth which they can spend, helping the economy. And some help society by doing voluntary or charity work. Of course, solutions are needed to tackle the issue, and these include increasing the retirement age, encouraging people to save for the future, persuading skilled and educated migrants to fill labour shortages, or even convincing people to have more children.
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Post time: Dec-08-2022