Population Aging


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The most important means by which aging will affect aggregate output is the distortion from taxes to fund PAYGO pensions. Population Aging David N. Aging , Labor Studies , Public Economics Population aging is primarily the result of past declines in fertility, which produced a decades long period in which the ratio of dependents to working age adults was reduced. Development of the American Economy. Economic Fluctuations and Growth.

Alternatively, a graphical approach may be used that involves analyzing population pyramids.

Ageing Population

Demographers commonly use population pyramids to describe both age and sex distributions of populations. Youthful populations are represented by pyramids with a broad base of young children and a narrow apex of older people, and older populations are characterized by more uniform numbers of people in the age categories. To understand the demographic factors that cause population aging, demographers often refer to the stable population model. This model assumes that age-specific fertility and mortality rates remain constant over time, resulting in a population with an age distribution that eventually ceases to change: The influence of changes in fertility rates on population aging may not be obvious at first sight.

With everything else held constant, however, a fertility decline reduces the size of the most recent birth cohorts relative to the previous birth cohorts, reducing the size of the youngest age groups relative to that of the older ones.

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The effects of changes in mortality rates on population aging appear more intuitive but are in fact ambiguous. Reductions in mortality rates do not necessarily contribute to population aging. More specifically, declines in the mortality rates of infants, children, and persons younger than the population's mean age tend to lower that mean age.


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Clearly, a reduction of neonatal mortality—death in the first month of life—adds individuals at age zero and thus should lead to the same alleviation of population aging that an increase in childbearing does. Population aging thus is related to the demo-graphic transition, the processes that lead a society from a demographic regime characterized by high rates of fertility and mortality to one characterized by lower fertility and mortality rates. In the course of this transition, the age structure is subjected to different influences.

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Population aging in Brazil: current and future social challenges and consequences

In the typical sequence the transition begins with successes in preventing infectious and parasitic diseases that most benefit infants and young children. The result is an improvement in life expectancy at birth. Fertility, however, tends to remain unchanged, thus producing large birth cohorts and an expanding proportion of children relative to adults. Other things being equal, this initial decline in mortality generates a younger population age structure. After initial and sometimes very rapid gains in infant and child mortality have been achieved, further mortality declines increasingly benefit people of older ages and eventually are accompanied by fertility declines.

Both changes contribute to a reversal of the early effect of mortality decline on the age structure, and this synergy is known as the double aging process. Most developed countries today are experiencing such a process, but further analysis suggests that their history of declining mortality is the dominant factor in current aging.

Mortality declines continue in these countries: Indeed, the decrease in mortality rates among those age 85 years and over has accelerated since the s. This latest phase of mortality decline, which is concentrated in the older age groups, is becoming an important determinant of population aging, particularly among women.

The rate of population aging may be modulated by migration. Immigration marginally slows population aging in Canada and Europe, for example to the extent that immigrants are younger than the population average and have higher fertility than do the native-born. However, emigration of workingage adults accelerates population aging, a phenomenon that can be observed in some Caribbean countries. Population aging in those countries also is accelerated by the immigration of elderly retirees from other countries and the return migration of former emigrants who are above the average population age.

The current level and pace of population aging vary widely by geographic region and usually within regions as well, but virtually all nations were experiencing growth in the number of elderly residents at the beginning of the twenty-first century for selected regions and countries, see Table 1. The proportion of the world population age 65 and over increased from 5. In Europe, however, the proportion was The highest proportions used to be found in Northern Europe e.

The proportions of elderly people are lower outside of Europe, with the notable exception of Japan, where this figure increased from 4. The age structure of the United States continues to be influenced by the large birth cohorts of the baby boom people born from through who are not yet age The proportion of the elderly population in the United States, which was Population aging in the future will depend on demo-graphic trends, but most demographers agree that the fertility and mortality changes that would be required to reverse population aging in the coming decades are very unlikely to occur.

According to the United Nations medium population projections, population aging in the first half of the twenty-first century should exceed that of the second half of the twentieth century. For the world as a whole, the elderly plus will grow from 6. In other words, the world average would be higher in than the current world record. All regions are expected to see an increase, although it should be milder in some regions, such as Africa, where the projected increase is from 3.

Aging of Population

The age distribution of population is often very irregular, reflecting the scars of the past events wars, depression etc. Were the age distribution to change in a very irregular fashion over the age range, for instance, much information would be lost by a single-index summary. Therefore, perhaps the most adequate approach to study population aging is to explore the age distribution through a set of percentiles, or graphically by analyzing the population pyramids. Demographers commonly use population pyramids to describe both age and sex distributions of populations. Youthful populations are represented by pyramids with a broad base of young children and a narrow apex of older people, while older populations are characterized by more uniform numbers of people in the age categories.

To understand the demographic factors that cause population aging, demographers often refer to stable populations Preston et al. This population model assumes that age-specific fertility and mortality rates remain constant over time, and this results in a population with an age distribution that stabilizes and eventually becomes time invariant as well. Conversely, this theoretical model suggests that any change in age structure, and population aging in particular, can only be caused by changes in fertility and mortality rates.

The influence of changes in fertility rates on population aging is perhaps less intuitive than that of mortality rates.

Everything else constant, however, a fertility decline reduces the size of the most recent birth cohorts relative to the previous birth cohorts, hence reducing the size of the youngest age groups relative to that of the older ones. The effects of changes in mortality rates on population aging appear more intuitive, but are in fact more ambiguous. If increases in the human life span are correctly linked to population aging, reductions in mortality rates do not necessarily contribute to population aging.

More specifically, mortality declines among infants, children and persons younger than the population mean age tend to lower the population mean age.

AGING OF POPULATION

A moment of thought suggests that indeed a reduction of neonatal mortality i. Population aging is thus related to the demographic transition , that is the processes that lead a society from a demographic regime characterized by high rates of fertility and mortality to another one with lower fertility and mortality rates.

In the course of this transition, the age structure is subjected to different influences. In the typical sequence, the transition begins with successes in preventing infectious and parasitic diseases that benefit infants and young children most. The resulting improvement in life expectancy at birth occurs while fertility tends to remain unchanged, thereby producing large birth cohorts and an expanding proportion of children relative to adults. Other things being equal, this initial decline in mortality generates a younger population age structure.

After initial and sometimes very rapid gains in infant and child mortality have been achieved, further mortality declines increasingly benefit older ages and are eventually accompanied by fertility declines. Both changes contribute to reverse the early effect of mortality decline on the age structure, and this synergy is known as the double aging process. This corresponds to the experience of most developed countries today, but further decomposition suggest that their history of declining mortality is the dominant factor in current aging Preston, Himes and Eggers This latest phase of mortality decline, which is concentrated in the older age groups, is becoming an important determinant of population aging, particularly among women.

The rate of population aging may also be modulated by migration. Immigration usually slows down population aging in Canada and Europe , for example , because immigrants tend to be younger and have more children. On the other hand, emigration of working-age adults accelerates population aging, as it is observed now in some Caribbean nations.

Population aging in these countries is also accelerated by immigration of elderly retirees from other countries, and return migration of former emigrants who are above the average population age.

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Some demographers expect that migration will have a more prominent role in population aging in the future, particularly in low-fertility countries with stable or declining population size. The effects of migration on population aging are usually stronger in smaller populations, because of higher relative weight proportion of migrants in such populations. The current level and pace of population aging vary widely by geographic region, and usually within regions as well, but virtually all nations are now experiencing growth in their numbers of elderly residents for selected regions and countries, see Table 1.

The percentage of world population aged 65 and over only increased from 5. In Europe , however, the proportion is For a long time, the highest proportions where found in Northern Europe e. The proportions of elderly are lower outside of Europe with the notable exception of Japan where it increased from 4. The age structure of the United States continues to be marked by the large birth cohorts of the baby boom people born from through , not yet aged The proportion of the elderly population in the U.

Table 1 About Here. Population aging has the following notable features: For example, in the United States , there were The female to male ratio increases with age reaching for persons 85 and over. Projections of population aging in the 21 st century.

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