Europian Countries and Demography

Topics: Demography, Population, Demographics Pages: 8 (2724 words) Published: December 4, 2008

Higher life expectancy and lower fertility rates have been the driving forces behind a secular trend towards population ageing. Although this trend is not new, it is set to further intensify because of the post-war baby boom which constitutes to a unique variation in the age structure over the last five decades between 1945 and 1961 amongst the European Countries. Nevertheless, the baby boom assisted in identifying the roles for both Social and Economic growth towards these countries and also its demography. Demographic ageing raises important challenges for all those institutions and policies established in the middle of the last century when the demographic perspective was very different. Policy makers and politicians have tended to underestimate the cumulative impact of these demographic trends. However, there is an increasing awareness as Europe approaches the critical decades, where the bulk of the ageing baby boomers will start moving out of the labour market, this trend is important and irreversible within the foreseeable future. Family-friendly policy measures could still provide some attenuation effects in the long run, but even in the most family-friendly EU countries, fertility rates are currently too low to prevent population ageing.

Today, there is a growing awareness in the EU that there are at least two major policy issues in relation to population ageing. These are the ageing of the workforce and the risk of growing imbalances in the financing of the social protection. These issues remain manageable for all member- States for some more years depending on the national situations. Then the trends accelerate in pace and raise serious questions about the capacity of the existing institutions to handle the impact. Immigration is considered as one of the potential means to address the demographic challenge. In fact, it has always been an important feature of social, economic and cultural change in Europe. The European countries have long played a major part in migratory movements both as sending and receiving countries. The final decade of the 20th century has been characterised by an unprecedented rise in forced and voluntary migrations throughout the world and they have also had a major effect in Europe. Today, in view of a rapidly changing economic and demographic situation, the debate on migration policies becomes a major issue in the EU. There is a growing awareness that restrictive immigration policies of the past 25 years are no longer relevant to the economic and demographic situation in which the Union now finds itself. Some European policy makers think that it is now the appropriate moment to review the longer term needs for the EU as a whole, to estimate how far these can be met from existing resources and to define a policy for the admission of 3rd country nationals to fill those gaps which are identified. This will also provide an opportunity to reinforce policies to combat irregular work and to ensure employers comply with existing labour legislation for 3rd country nationals who work for them.

Demography is the study of how populations change over time. Particulary this study pertains to the human population. The characteristics comprises of the study and analysis of deaths, births, size, growth rate, density, vital statistics, and distribution of a specified population. Demography requires the study of specific information that may be gathered from a population census or vital statistic records. People who study and record this information are referred to as demographers. Demographers must know both how to scientifically obtain information and also produce projections as to how to make attempts in producing projections of how the population changes over the next few decades and its interpretation. Demography is widely used for various purposes and can encompass small, targeted populations or mass populations. Governments use...

References: 1. Alan Griffiths & Stuart Wall Economics for Business and Management
2. National Statistics (2003) Social Trends, London HMSO
3. Routledge (Taylor and Francis Group) Applied Economics
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