Ageing Population

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  • Populations can become older or younger depending on their age structure
  • An ageing population is a population where the proportion of elderly people is increasing
  • UN estimates 12% of the worlds population are aged over 60 and 1.7% are aged over 80
  • By 2045 the number of old people living in the world is expected to be higher than the number of children living in the world for the first time ever
  • Over 2 billion people aged over 60 are expected to be living in 2050
  • Majority of people aged over 80 live in MEDC countries
  • Minority of people aged over 80 live in LDC countries
  • Mortality decline at older ages leads to an ageing of the elderly population
  • Lower mortality leads to an increased life expectancy
  • The age transition follows the demographic transition
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Fertility and Ageing Populations

  • Fertility can lead to an ageing population as a low fertility means fewer babies which means there are fewer younger people living in the population which leads to a higher proportion of the population who are elderly
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Impacts of an Ageing Population

  • Healthcare costs
  • Social services costs
  • Higher demand of pensions
  • Smaller number of working age people
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Demographic Timebomb

  • A demographic timebomb is when there are fewer working age people and more pensioners who are living longer
  • Not enough contributors for the increasing pension demand
  • Japan employing workers from abroad to stop it from having a demographic timebomb due to its low fertility rate and ageing population
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  • Publicly funded pay-as-you-go pension systems face serious issues as the number of claimers is increasing and the number of contributors are decreasing
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Retirement Age

  • Various countires have raised their legal retirement age
  • Generally accepted in USA and Germany
  • Has caused conflict in France
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Five Oldest Countries

  • Ranked by proportion of people aged 60+
  • Japan
  • Italy
  • Germany 
  • Finland
  • Sweden
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Causes of Death in Ageing Populations

  • Chronic (non-communicable) diseases are responsible for 60% of deaths in an ageing populaiton
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimers
  • Modifiable factors...
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Harmful use of alcohol
  • Many people are living with these conditions undiagnosed which leads to more complicated and costly treatment later in life
  • Treatment costs very high 
  • The universal spread of public healthcare could make the costs even more expensive
  • Extra emphasis on prevention of diseases including workplace wellness programmes
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