an ageing population can bring economic, political and social advantages as well as disadvantages’ (1 5 marks) The world’s population is growing older. There will be higher numbers of elderly people, a larger share of elderly, longer life expectancies, and fewer numbers of working-age people than dependent people. An ageing population does raise some challenges, but they are not all bad. It also brings new opportunities, because people have longer, healthier lives, resulting in extended working years, this being Just one example of an opportunity faced by an ageing population.
The key to an ageing is adapting to the challenges that a country could face. One economic disadvantage of an ageing population is the concern about working. An Ageing population has a direct impact on the labor market, since improvements in life expectancy could result in many remaining in work longer. However changes in employment have an impact on pension schemes and the pension schemes in turn affect the decisions made by workers to retire or remain working. There is a relationship between those who are independent (18 to 64 years old) and those who are dependent (aged 65 and over).
With an ageing population there are fewer and fewer people in the working age group able to provide support for the dependent people. The problems of an ageing population go together with growth in the working market. Senior citizens who choose to remain working and wait to retire create additional income which will contribute to their pensions. However many employers tend not to like older people to carry on working when there are younger people who are willing to take their place.
An economic advantage of an ageing population is that it offers many opportunities for the economy to respond to he needs of older people and elderly people will want a change in the consumer market directed at them. As elderly people have more time on their hands and a family they will spend more money on grandchildren, leisure and recreational activities to fill their time. There is also an opportunities for business to take advantage of an ageing population by investing in care homes and retirement complexes as well as new technologies to help the elderly in their day to day life.
A social disadvantage of the ageing population especially as ‘baby boomers’ become he older, there will be a rise in demand for health services and long term care will create a challenge for the funding of public services and pensions and increasing pressure on families and friends to support the older generations of their family. This burden is likely to increase the proportion of the population in poverty. Many will be expected to cover more of their own care and health costs.
Without changes to pensions and retirement, pensioner poverty will increase, especially if the recession continues. A social advantage of an ageing population is the matter of older people helping their community. Many retired people decide to volunteer at a local charity shops. Many elderly people are far from being sole receivers of help and support; many older people are, in tact, providers. They provide childcare, financial and practical help to family members that had not been there before. Such unpaid caring and voluntary work adds up to a significant proportion of GAP.
Now grandparents have become an important social role within a family. Not only does it benefit grandparents themselves but it will benefit grandchildren from having a close family unit. A political disadvantage of an ageing population is the power the large reapportion of elderly have. As a group, the elderly have an extremely economic and political influence. Politically as elderly people have more time on their hands they are more likely to vote in elections than any other group in society causing them to have enormous political value.
Seniors are also more likely than other groups of people to write to local councils about an issue that is important to them suggesting again the large influence they have which could either be a positive or a negative view on an ageing population, depending on what issues are being raised in the country. In conclusion the world as a whole, and developed countries in particular, are moving through a demographic transition to ‘greyer’ societies, this also involves slower population growth within a country.
The positives of an ageing population are that older people are active and productive rather than ‘a burden’ upon society and will continue to play a valuable role in the future. They also have greater economic power and higher expectations of their place in society. Many people expect to retire with substantial assets such as housing and savings and they do have the ability, even the opportunities, to work for longer to help fund a comfortable standard of living in retirement.
Many can expect future generations of older people to continue for longer in the workforce, to contribute more through taxation, to fund more of their own retirement and health care. Many countries need to convince people to work longer by offering incentives for example making work more attractive, flexible and manageable for older workers. People should be ensured that they are able to age with security and to continue to participate in society as long as they want to without being worried about consequences of getting older.