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while the number of old people is rising. Will this development be a benefit for the society? What are
The world is about to cross a demographic landmark of huge social and economic importance,
with the proportion of the global population 65 and over set to outnumber children under five for the first time.
A new report by the US census bureau highlights a huge shift towards not just an ageing but an old population,
with formidable consequences for rich and poor nations alike
The rate of growth will shoot up in the next couple of years, with both overall numbers and proportions of
older people rising rapidly.
The shift is due to a combination of the time-delayed impact of high fertility levels after the
second world war and more recent improvements in health that are bringing down death rates at older ages.
Separate UN forecasts predict that the global population will top 9 billion by 2050.
Thanks to improved living standards and universal accessibility of medical facilities, more and more
people now live to be seventy or eighty. This is an achievement worthy of celebration because longevity
is a positive thing. It is an indication that all those social welfare schemes are bearing fruit. Number of
older people in the society increases can has itís own pros and cons.
Much of medical science is concerned with ways to increase the life span of a person. Longevity is one
of the factors that determine the livability of a country. In short, countries where the people enjoy
good longevity are thought to be much better than countries that have poor longevity. Part of this is
due to the fact that longevity is a measure of the effectiveness of other wellness factors. The fact that
more and more people now cross the 60 or 70 milestone is a good indication that living standards have
considerably improved. And that is a good thing.
The rise in the older population has other benefits too. Older people are far more experienced and
knowledgeable. They have what it takes to guide the younger generation in the right direction.
Older people can also help maintain the cultures and religions of the countries for further generations
by passing down their knowledge about these to the young.
On the other hand, the older people arenít necessarily productive. Most of them donít work or earn.
Older people also need special care and medical attention. In most cases they are dependent on their
children or other close relatives either due to financial problems or due to physical inabilities.
Increases in diseases and disabilities associated with aging and therefore the need to provide relevant
care, especially in terms of chronic physical and mental health problems. Because of this government
has to spend more money .
Looking at both sides of the situation, it is felt that although the rise in the number older people is
a positive sign, it is not without its drawbacks. We canít aspire for a society wherein older people
outnumber younger people. The future of a nation, after all, is in its youth.