PRO & CON OF AGING SOCIETIES

In more and more developed countries we see the following trends:

  • People live longer
  • People work harder
  • Old people get retired later
  • Retired people get re-employed
  • People get married later and have fewer kids

all those trends lead us to an aging society.

   It is reported that the global population is ageing at a rapid rate. In 1950, just over five percent of the world’s population was 65 years or older. By 2006, that number had jumped to eight percent. By 2030, experts anticipate that older adults will comprise 13 percent of the total population—one in eight people will be 65 or older. While developing countries will experience the most rapid growth in ageing, with increases of up to 140 percent, developed countries will experience increases averaging 51 percent. (http://ifsw.org/policies/ageing-and-older-adults/)

     As people grow older and older, their bodies’ health condition will surely be worse and worse, which means they will need more health care than the younger ones, which will leave government more pressure on the economic of health care and other social programs.

   In order for a country’s GDP to grow, it needs to produce more goods and services each year. With an aging population and more people retiring, fewer are left to work, which creates an economic hole. The solution is that those countries have to rely on immigration to fill the gap, and this may be a less-desirable solution for some (countries.http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GAC_GlobalPopulationAgeing_Report_2012.pdf)

    However, we should be careful not to direct our anger towards old people themselves. Old people can still contribute to society, and people like doctors will be more respected if they get older considering that they have more experience over the years, or some can work part time job or even do some volunteer work. On an individual level, old people can be a real treasure.

    In my opinion, government should recognize the challenges of an aging society and take the appropriate action. But in addition to fix the long-term impact of an aging society, the government should also look at the bigger picture and do their best so that in the future we will have a better age balance.

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