One of the most distintictive demographic events of the 20th Century.
The UN recognised ageing population growth as one of the most distinctive demographic events of the 20th century, effecting virtually every country on the planet.
In 2018, for the first time in history, those aged 65 or older outnumbered children younger than five globally. The number of people aged 80 years or older is projected to triple from 143 million in 2019 to 426 million in 2050.
The population aged 65 and older is growing faster than all other age groups. The global birth rate has been plummeting since the second half of the 20th Century. Fertility rates in every region except Africa are near or below the ‘replacement rate’. In most high-income countries this hovers around 2.1 children per woman.
Ireland have led the way.
Ireland have led the way by being one of the first countries in the world to be fully affiliated with the World Health Organisation’s Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities.
Age Friendly Ireland set up in 2014. There are 31 local authorities that have an age-friendly strategy. They are committed to being inclusive and supportive of people as they age. Age Friendly Ireland aims to make Ireland a great place in which to grow old. This was recogniesed by The World Health Organisation in Slane Castle, Co Meath. Follow the link below for more information.
Advantages of an ageing population.
- Community contribution
Voluntary services are a measure of social capital and an indication of a healthy civil society. The majority of volunteers tend to be elderly. This minimizes government expenditure on welfare, aid their families with childcare and find satisfaction in providing various other charitable services.
- Family contribution
Grandparents now play an important social role in a time where people tend to have more living parents than children. This benefits grandparents directly. They find that this is an important aspect of their lives and makes them feel fulfilled. Not only does it benefit the grandparents, but also their grandchildren considerably.
- Lower crime rate
As a general rule, it is likely that older communities will become more law abiding, since older people are less inclined to commit crimes.
Disadvantages of an ageing population
- Decreased participation rates (amount of people in the workforce).
The amount of people in the workforce is expected to decrease. This could lead to a shortage of workers and to wages being pushed up.
- Increases in diseases and disabilities associated with aging.
Greater need to provide relevant care, especially in terms of chronic physical and mental health problems.
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