Social security and the challenge of demographic change
From 29 November to 4 December 2010, the International Social Security Association (ISSA) will meet in Cape Town, Republic of South Africa, to mark the event of the ISSA World Social Security Forum. The Forum provides a unique opportunity for decision-makers from all regions to share knowledge, recognize good practices and discuss key policy challenges as these relate to the design and delivery of national social security programmes. One key policy challenge identiﬁed by the ISSA’s worldwide membership is demographic change. For this important reason, among the events planned for the Cape Town Forum, a plenary will focus speciﬁcally on demography. To coincide with the preparations for the World Forum, and to complement the wider and longer-term endeavours of the ISSA to promote knowledge sharing, the International Social Security Review has chosen to produce this double special issue on “Social security and the challenge of demographic change”.1 The expectation is that this set of papers will make a contribution to supporting social security policymakers, practitioners, analysts and researchers in all countries as they work towards developing and implementing tailored policy responses to the multifaceted challenge of demographic change. issr_1368 3..22
The demographic context
The world is undergoing demographic change, and population ageing is a central element of that. Population ageing, deﬁned as the growth of older age groups (aged 60 or older; aged 80 or older) as shares of the total population, is occurring in all regions of the world. In particular, Figures 1-3 show the percentage of population aged 60 or older by region for the period 1950 to 2050; the percentage of population aged 80 or older by region for the period 1950 to 2050; and life expectancy by region for the period 1950 to 2050.2 Overall, the number of individuals aged 60 or older is 1. Support for David Bloom’s work on this special issue was provided by the Program on the Global Demography of Aging at Harvard University, funded by Award Number P30AG024409 from the National Institute on Aging. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the ofﬁcial views of the National Institute on Aging or the National Institutes of Health. The editors acknowledge the valuable comments and assistance of Elizabeth Caﬁero and Larry Rosenberg in the preparation of this special issue, and Frédérique Bocquet, Florence Bonnet, Barbara Kritzer and Jenna-Dawn Shervill for support in preparing the statistical appendix. 2. The United Nations Population Division collects and synthesizes the data shown in these graphs. The ﬁgures through 2005 are based on actual data. The UN bases its population projections on a model that
© 2010 The author(s) International Social Security Review, Vol. 63, 3-4/2010 International Social Security Review © 2010 International Social Security Association Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA
Social security and the challenge of demographic change
Figure 1. Share of population aged 60 or older, by region
35 30 Population aged 60+ (%) 25 20 15 10 5 0 1950
2010 Europe World
Africa North America
Source: ESA (2009).
projected to reach 1 billion by 2020 and will approach 2 billion by 2050, representing 22 per cent of the world’s population. The number of the “oldest-old” (aged 80 or older) is projected to rise from around 90 million today to more than 400 million in 2050, representing 4 per cent of the global population by 2050. Remarkably, global life expectancy has increased from 47 years in the early 1950s to 68 years in 2010, and is expected to reach 75 years by 2045. This process of population ageing is historically...
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© 2010 The author(s) International Social Security Review, Vol. 63, 3-4/2010 International Social Security Review © 2010 International Social Security Association
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