The Effect of An Aging Population The Case of the United States and the Demography of the Rest of the World
Summary of Trends • The Total Population of the Globe continues to grow, and has enough growth in the system to take us to 10 billion. • But will it stop there? Is there a “limit”
Summary of Trends • Almost all the growth—over 95%--will be in the poorer countries
Summary of Trends • The Population of the rich countries, or “developed world” will continue to decline both relative to the rest of the world’s population (i.e. as a percentage of the total population of the world), and they will decline absolutely within themselves i.e. their populations will get numerically smaller.
The Aging Population • In almost all of the Developed World, the population is aging noticeably and very quickly • This is emphasized by the very small numbers of children being born • So, the dominance of the elderly will increase in Western Societies.
Trends • If we divide the population into deciles, that is from 0 to 10 years; 10 to 20 etc., which decile do you think is growing fastest in • The United States? • Women over 80 have the highest rate of increase. • In Japan?
Trends This is Bulgaria • Another factor inflating the proportional size of the elderly, is the very small number of children being born in the developed world. • Let’s look at a Population Pyramid
Trend And no future? • Fewer and fewer young people to look after the elderly • Fewer and fewer earning taxpayers to pay for the elderly. • Who will support them. • Look in the mirror.
One More Twist • If, as exists now, you have the technology to determine the sex of a child before it is born • And you have on-demand abortion, then you have the capacity to change the natural sex ratio which is the balance between male and female. • Look at this
Some Facts About Europe • Today Europe = 455m; US = 295m • In 2050: Europe =430m; US = 420m • Life expectancy is the same, it is fertility that is different • In Italy, the working population will decline by 20% by 2035, but the >65s will grow by 44% • Dependency Ratio from 32% to 67%!
What to do? • Germany will have to find 3.6 million people each year from outside Germany in the next 50 years just to stay where it is now • Give tax breaks for more children—leads to earlier childbirth, but not more children. • Surveys in Germany suggest women actually want fewer children than are being born now • Redefine Retirement, keepworking longer, reduce benefits to elderly who do not need them. Countries are now raising the retirement age.
How did we Get Here? • Why the declining population in the rich countries, and the booming population in the poorer countries? • Well, there is a theory to explain that. • It is called the Demographic Transition, and here it is.
What caused the decline in birth rate in the West? • Social Security meant you did not need children as security • The changing status of women introduced more choice and options • It became increasingly expensive to realize your ambitions for the individual child • The need for women to work for the Double-Income household
Elements of the Transition 2 • “Selfishness” and the “Me Generation” of the 1960s? • Birth-control education, AIDS? • What else do you think contributed
The Challenge • It seems that the growth rate of population FALLS if the income of the family goes UP. • Can we raise the income and security of poor people faster than their numbers? • Is that the key to it all?
Final Thoughts • Here are some longest-recorded life spans • Arctic Clam—220 years • Tortoise—150 • Sturgeon—150 • Sea Turtle – limitless • Wait—did that say “limitless”???
'We will be able to live to 1,000' By Dr Aubrey de Grey University of Cambridge • Aubrey de Grey: "The first person to live to 1,000 might already be 60 "Life expectancy is increasing in the developed world. But Cambridge University geneticist Aubrey de Grey believes it will soon extend dramatically to 1,000. Here, he explains why. • Ageing is a physical phenomenon happening to our bodies, so at some point in the future, as medicine becomes more and more powerful, we will inevitably be able to address ageing just as effectively as we address many diseases today. • I claim that we are close to that point because of the SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) project to prevent and cure ageing. This item is on your homepage.