Ageing Population Impacts on Future Development
The population structure of an ageing populaton has more older people than younger people because few people are being born, and more people are surviving old age.
Countries with an ageing population are usually the richer countries in Stage 5 of the DTM.
Older people (over 65) are supported by the working population (aged 16-64) - they're dependent on them. So in a county with an ageing population there's a higher proportion of people who are dependent.
This has economic and social impacts, which can affect a country's future development.
The working population pay taxes, some of which the government use to pay the state pensions of older people, and to pay for services like retirement homes and healthcare. Taxes would need to go up because there are more pensions to pay for, and older people need more healthcare.
The economy of the country would grow more slowly - less money is being spent on things that help the economy grow, e.g. education and business, and more money is being spent on things that don't help the economy grow, e.g. retirement homes.
Healthcare services are stretched more because older people need more medical care.
People will need to spend more time working as unpaid carers for older family members. This means that working population have less leisure time and are more stressed and worried.
People my have fewer chidren because they can't afford lots of children when they have dependent older realitives. This leads to a drop in birth rate.
The more old people there are, the lower the pension provided by the government will be. People will have to retire later because they can't afford to get by on a state pension.
There are Different Strategies to Cope with an Age
Encouraging larger families, e.g. in Italy women are offered cash rewards to have more children. This increases the number of young people - when they start work there will be a larger working population to pay taxes and support the ageing population.
Encouraging the immigration of young people from other countries. This increases the working population so there are more people paying taxes to support the ageing population.
- These strategies don't help towards sustainable development because they increase population size.
Raising the retirement age - people stay in work longer and contribute to state pensions and personal pensions for longer. They will also claim the state pension for less time.
Raising taxes for the working population - this would increase the amount of money avaliable to support the ageing population.
- These strategies help towards sustainable development as they help to reduce to the impacts of an ageing population, without increasing the population size.