Государственная политика и старение населения

ЭДИНБУРГ – Сто лет назад, в большинстве европейских стран количество детей превосходило количество пожилых людей десять к одному. Сегодня, количество людей в возрасте старше 65 лет равно количеству тех, которым меньше 16 лет. В Соединенном Королевстве, примерно одному из шести людей на данный момент 65 лет и больше, в Соединённых Штатах эта цифра уменьшается до одного из восьми, а в Японии на одного из четырех.

Этот сдвиг осуществился с помощью снижения уровня рождаемости и младенческой смертности в первой половине двадцатого века, а также ростом ожидаемой продолжительности жизни в последние десятилетия. Какими бы ни были причины, многие обеспокоены тем, что, в ближайшие десятилетия стремительное демографическое старение населения будет все больше напрягать здоровье, благополучие населения и программы здравоохранения, положив неустойчивое давление на государственные бюджеты.

Однако, хотя такие опасения и не лишены оснований, дискуссии о старении населения склонны преувеличивать масштабы, скорость и влияние этой ситуации, благодаря фундаментально неправильному пониманию о том, как население «стареет». В отличие от людей, население не следует жизненному циклу рождения, старения и смерти. Тем более, в то время как возрастное распределение населения может измениться, происходит и увеличение ожидаемой продолжительности жизни. А возраст становится ненадежным способом измерения производительности населения.

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