In the developedworld, average life expectancy is increasing. What problems will this cause forindividuals and society? Suggest some measures that could be taken to reducethe impact of ageing populations.
It istrue that people in industrialised nations can expect to live longer than everbefore. Although there will undoubtedly be some negative consequences of thistrend, societies can take steps to mitigate these potential problems.
As peoplelive longer and the populations of developed countries grow older, severalrelated problems can be anticipated. The main issue is that there willobviously be more people of retirement age who will be eligible to receive apension. The proportion of younger, working adults will be smaller, andgovernments will therefore receive less money in taxes in relation to the sizeof the population. In other words, an ageing population will mean a greater taxburden for working adults. Further pressures will include a rise in the demandfor healthcare, and the fact young adults will increasingly have to look aftertheir elderly relatives.
There areseveral actions that governments could take to solve the problems describedabove. Firstly, a simple solution would be to increase the retirement age forworking adults, perhaps from 65 to 70. Nowadays, people of this age tend to behealthy enough to continue a productive working life. A second measure would befor governments to encourage immigration in order to increase the number ofworking adults who pay taxes. Finally, money from national budgets will need tobe taken from other areas and spent on vital healthcare, accommodation andtransport facilities for the rising numbers of older citizens.
In conclusion, various measures can be takento tackle the problems that are certain to arise as the populations ofcountries grow older.