Stará Evropa, mladý svět

Evropská unie slaví 50. narozeniny a mnozí Evropané spolu s ní vstupují do středního věku. Zároveň jsou si stále více vědomi, že demografické změny mají potenciál učinit příští půlstoletí Evropy značně odlišným od půlstoletí předchozího.

Prvních 50 let EU bylo charakterizováno růstem počtu obyvatel a vysokým podílem lidí v produktivním věku v poměru k počtu dětí a starších osob. Poválečná generace silných ročníků byla v tomto období tahounem trvalého hospodářského růstu, který posílil postavení Evropy ve světě a vedl k dramatickému zlepšení kvality života jejích občanů.

V příštích pěti desetiletích budou naopak tyto silné ročníky v EU odcházet do důchodu a zanechají za sebou méně početnou generaci lidí v produktivním věku, kteří ponesou značnou zátěž v podobě nutnosti uspokojovat zdravotní a důchodové potřeby starších lidí. Do roku 2050 dosáhne 36 procent Evropanů věku šedesáti nebo více let a navzdory zvyšující se průměrné délce života se do roku 2020 začne počet obyvatel na kontinentu vlivem pokračující nízké porodnosti snižovat.

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