The Ageing Population

Topics: Demography, Retirement, Demographics Pages: 6 (2244 words) Published: December 8, 2008
Ageing Population – A Key Trend If one were to take a look at the UK population, one would notice a few trends. For instance, many women are focusing on their careers and postponing pregnancies. There is also a lengthening of the life expectancy of individuals, brought about in part by better health care and technology. The combination of rising mortality improvement and decreasing fertility rates has paved the way for a demographic key trend to occur in the UK which is now experiencing and may very well continue to experience the effects of an ageing population. In a census taken in the UK in 1951, the reports showed that there were approximately .2 million people aged 85 and over. This represented over 0.4% of the entire population. By 2001, however, another census showed that this figure had increased to a little over 1.1 million people and 1.9% of the UK population. Analysis of the Ageing Population in the UK An analysis of the key trend of ageingin the population showed that many factors contributed towards this demographic phenomenon. Today, many people are focused on health and fitness as an important part of life, as there is a global emphasis on enjoying not just life, but the quality of life. Generally, without a net immigration to ease the situation, the plunge that the fertility rate has taken could leave the UK to face the fact that birth-rates are becoming too low to keep up with the replenishing of an ageing population. Ageing Population Seen as a Problem Benefits of an Ageing Population Many demographers have responded to these concerns by pointing out two major facts about the UK’s ageing population: People are not just living longer, but they are also healthier. Experts have concluded that the majority of the older population will only encounter severe age-related illnesses in the last year or so of life. Healthy elderly people are also making a positive contribution to the economy. Health promotions, preventative medicine, advances health care, education and technology, have all played vital roles in reducing the level of chronic illnesses that exist amongst an ageing population. The members of the elder generation have even reached to the level where vanity has been allowed to step in and influence how they spend money on their physical beings. People do not only want to live long, but they want to look and feel at their best. It seems therefore that despite the age that a person might become, having an attractive physical appearance is just as important as being in “certified” health. Older people are therefore joining gyms, working out more and eating right. They have even encouraged the younger to investin their health at an early age. They are spending lifelong savings on gym equipment, liposuctions, lifts, tucks, nips and implants. So now, judging by the outward appearance, it is often difficult to tell the young and the old apart. When one looks at the ageing population therefore, and observes, the level of health and even youthful attributes that the members possess, it is difficult to accuse them of merely being a drain on the nation’s economy. The fact is that many of them are contributors to the national wealth and quite a few, in their time of ageing have indulged in activities and spending habits that have an effect on the UK’s economic growth. The Baby Boomers The British Boomers are recorded as the first generation to be exposed to heavy consumerism. However, given the fact that this generation was born right after World War II, the Boomers curbed their consumption levels and concentrated on hard work, maintaining their families and pursuing higher levels of education. At the time of their youth, they fought hard to stand strong in the midst of continuous price increases and escalating inflation. The Boomers have been known as pioneers in the past as they fought against low wage rates, unemployment and gender inequality. It was that very same...
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