Today there are more people in the world over 65 than ever before in human history. Life expectancy has increased significantly and children in many countries around the world have become rarer. According to the United Nations, for the first time, there is a situation where more older people than children live on the planet. By 2019, 705 million people are older on the planet and about 680 million children between 0 and 4 years old. How will this affect our future?
Increasing life expectancy is a success story of our species, but an increase in the number of elderly people leads to a number of urgent socio-economic problems.
The world population will continue to age as these two groups grow in opposite directions. By 2050, the proportion of over-65s will increase by almost 16 percent, more than double the number of children under the age of five.
Lack of "brand new"
Demographers who have followed these trends for several decades have come to the conclusion that the reasons lie in the increase in life expectancy and the decline in fertility.
But how will an aging population affect you and me specifically?
As you know, in 1960 there were about five children per woman. Today, almost 60 years later, an average of 2.5 children per woman live.
Good question: is the world really overcrowded?
And if people lived on average just over 52 years in 1960, then in 2017, for example, the average life expectancy reached 72 years. This means that people need more resources as they grow older, which in turn will increase pressure on health systems and pensions.
What can you do with it?
Some developing countries take note of the approach of countries such as Japan and Italy and take policies to limit fertility. China and India introduced family planning initiatives in the 1970s. As a result, the Chinese population is aging faster today.
However, a decline in the birth rate can have positive consequences. When birth rates drop and the population is not old, governments can spend more on secondary and higher education and boost the economy. How did Thailand and South Korea?
Population experts warn, however, that health quality will play a crucial role in the quality of life of older people.
And how would you solve the problem of an aging population on the planet? Share your opinion in the comments and subscribe to our channel in Yandex Zen.