The dependency ratio gives the proportion of the population that has to be supported by the working population. Young people (0-14) and older people (65+) are generally dependent on the working population.
High dependency ratio = greater proportion of dependent people
Dependency ratio = young people + old people ÷ working age population
Social Impacts of an Ageing Population
- Increased pressure on public services - greater demand for services like hospitals and hospices.
- More people needed to care for elderly - more carers and nurses will need training. More people will also act as unpaid carers to their own elderly family members, putting financial and social pressure on them
- Unequal distribution of older people - high proportion of older retired people. Areas with this may have inadequate facilities for young people
- Reduced population growth or population decline - working population may have fewer children because they already have older dependants - leading to reduction in BR
- Longer working life - state pension is low due to so many retired people. Often not enough to support people in their retirement so some may have to work beyond normal retirement age to build up personal pensions or savings, or to add to their income from the state pension.
Economic and Political Impacts of an Ageing Popula
- Reduced work force - smaller proportion of the population is working, which may slow economic growth
- Increased taxes - pensions and services are paid for by taxes - greater proportion of older people claiming pensions and support could mean higher taxes for the working population
- Spending - elderly have savings and pensions to spend (the grey pound)
- Elderly issues will be important to voters e.g. changes to national pensions or heating allowances
- Immigration laws may be relaxed to encourage people of working age to enter the country.
Social and Economic Impacts of a Youthful Populati
- Increased pressure on public services - greater demand for services like schools and childcare
- Rapid population growth - large numbers of children grow up and have families too, increasing the population. This may lead to overpopulation if there aren't enough resources to cope with the number of people.
- Too few jobs - aren't enough jobs for young people when they grow up - more unemployed means more people are dependent on government support
- Increased poverty - more young people are born into poor families, so there are more people in poverty. Some children may have to work to help support their large family so they can't go to school, so they can break out of poverty.
Political Impacts of a Youthful Population
- Youth issues will be important e.g. student loads and childcare provision
- Government may need to increase teacher salaries to encourage more poeople into the professoin
Ageing Population Management Strategies
- Encouraging larger families - e.g. Swedish gov. gives both parents 18 months' paid leave when they have a child. Encouraging larger families should result in a larger working population when the children grow up, which can provide more taxes for better pensions and services
- Raising retirement age - working population made larger so more people contribute to the state pension fund and to personal pensions for longer. People will also claim state pension for less time.
- Encouraging the immigration of working-age people - e.g. Japan inc. number of foreign workers because there aren't enough working-age Japanese people to fill jobs available. Increases working-age population, which helps support the ageing population by paying taxes.
- Increasing health care provision - large numbers of older people puts pressure on health care systems. Doesn't manage population change but could help ease the problem of poor health in the elderly.
Youthful Population Management Strategies
- Controlling birth rate - overpopulated countries try to slow growth by introducing policies that limit the number of children couples can have e.g China one child policy.
- Limiting the immigration of younger people - limiting number of immigrants of reproductive age means BR isn't made higher by immigrants having children
- Encouraging family planning and use of contraception - governments can offer sex education and free contraception to allow couples to plan and limit the number of children they have
- Increasing childcare provision - countries can invest in more and better childcare so parents can work.
Sustainable development is about developing and growing to meet the needs of people today, without hindering the ability of people in the future to meet their own needs. It involves getting what we need now without damaging or altering the environment in an irreversible way.
- Encouraging larger families - creates an even larger population that'll need housing, transport, food etc. Isn't sustainable unless population's needs are met in a sustainable way such as carbon-neutral homes, low/no emission transport etc.
- Encouraging immigration of working-age people - more working people need more jobs, which could be in heavily polluting industries or in offices that use electricity. Unless these needs are met in a sustainable way, this strategy on its own isn't sustainable.
- Controlling birth rate - helps towards sustainable development as the population doesn't get much bigger. But if the needs of the population still aren't met in a sustainable way, then it just stops the problem getting any worse.