NYT: Slower Growth Seen in a Graying World

FLOYD NORRIS writes in the NEW YORK TIMES:

AS the world grows older in the coming decades, economic growth will slow.

That forecast was issued Friday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group of 34 countries that includes all of the major industrialized nations.

“Aging will be a drag on growth in many countries,” said the report, titled “Looking to 2060: Long-Term Global Growth Prospects.” It also projected that while the aging of the population would be offset to some extent by better education in many countries, global growth in gross domestic product, which averaged 3.5 percent a year from 1995 through 2011, would rise to 3.7 percent through 2030, but then fall to just 2.3 percent over the next three decades. READ MORE.

Bulgaria: Population Decline Continues

Bulgaria’s population has been in decline since 1988.  The country faces a demographic challenge resulting from a high rate of emigration towards other EU countries and from the aging of its remaining population.

From QUEST (BULGARIA):

The population of Bulgaria has been in decline since 1988 and has continued up  to the present day. The most recent census conducted in 2011 revealed that the  population of Bulgaria stood at 7.4 million people showing the lowest figures  since the 1988 peak when the country was home to 8.98 million. Women in Bulgaria  outnumber the men by 2.6%.

It is said that a staggering third of Bulgaria’s inhabitants live in the cities  of Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna which are the largest cities in the country.

There is much concern regarding the population of Bulgaria due to its rapid  rate of decrease and reports state that over half a million people left Bulgaria  over the last 10 years and over 1.5 million since 1988.This number is gathering  pace at an alarming rate.

In addition to the dwindling numbers there is an added problem which Bulgaria  is faced with, and that is it’s ageing residents, many located within the  countries 5302 villages. More and more villages are being left uninhabited as  the older generation pass away.

Read more: http://www.questbg.com/news-a-events/mish-mash/2084-the-population-of-bulgaria.html#ixzz28ofrPrGp

India’s Aging Population Vulnerable to Infectious Diseases

SOHINI DAS reports in the BUSINESS STANDARD:

As a large number of India’s population moves towards the 50 plus bracket, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Report 2012 shows that in the absence of proper healthcare infrastructure and adult vaccination programmes, the elderly population in the country are highly vulnerable to infectious diseases.

India’s population is undergoing a dramatic transition, the report says adding that the proportion of older people is expected to rise three- to four-fold in the next 40 years. India’s population of people aged 65 and over will be second only to China’s. Even conservative estimates predict that the number of people aged 60 and over will reach 323 million by 2050. By then, people in their fifties are expected to account for 30% of the population, while those in their sixties will make up 20%. READ MORE.

Ageing in the Twenty-First Century: A Celebration and A Challenge

A new report from the UN Population Fund and advocacy group HelpAge International,  Ageing in the 21st Century: a Celebration and a Challenge, deems that:

Population ageing is one of the most significant trends of the 21st century.

It has important and far-reaching implications for all aspects of society. Around the world, two persons celebrate their sixtieth birthday every second – an annual total of almost 58 million sixtieth birthdays. With one in nine persons in the world aged 60 years or over, projected to increase to one in five by 2050, population ageing is a phenomenon that can no longer be ignored.

Ageing in the Twenty-First Century: A Celebration and A Challenge analyses the current situation of older persons and reviews progress in policies and actions taken by governments and other stakeholders since the Second World Assembly on Ageing in implementing the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing to respond to the opportunities and challenges of an ageing world. It provides many inspiring examples of innovative programmes that successfully address ageing issues and the concerns of older persons.

The report identifies gaps and provides recommendations for the way forward to ensure a society for all ages in which both young and old are given the opportunity to contribute to development and share in its benefits. A unique feature of the report is a focus on the voices of older persons themselves, captured through consultations with older men and women around the world.

The report, which is the product of a collaboration of over twenty United Nations entities and major international organizations working in the area of population ageing, shows that important progress has been made by many countries in adopting new policies, strategies, plans and laws on ageing, but that much more needs to be done to fully implement the Madrid Plan and fulfil the potential of our ageing world.

Full Report: Ageing in the 21st Century: a Celebration and a Challenge 

USA: Long-Term Implications of an Older Population

The NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL released a new report Aging and the Macroeconomy: Long-term Implications of an Older PopulationExcerpts of the press release:

Population Aging Will Have Long-Term Implications for Economy; Major Policy Changes Needed

WASHINGTON — The aging of the U.S. population will have broad economic consequences for the country, particularly for federal programs that support the elderly, and its long-term effects on all generations will be mediated by how — and how quickly — the nation responds, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council.  The unprecedented demographic shift in which people over age 65 make up an increasingly large percentage of the population is not a temporary phenomenon associated with the aging of the baby boom generation, but a pervasive trend that is here to stay.

“The bottom line is that the nation has many good options for responding to population aging,” said Roger Ferguson, CEO of TIAA-CREF and co-chair of the committee that wrote the report.  “Nonetheless, there is little doubt that there will need to be major changes in the structure of federal programs, particularly those for health.  The transition to sustainable policies will be smoother and less costly if steps are taken sooner rather than later.”

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are on unsustainable paths, and the failure to remedy the situation raises a number of economic risks, the report says.  Together, the cost of the three programs currently amounts to roughly 40 percent of all federal spending and 10 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.  Because of overall longer life expectancy and lower birth rates, these programs will have more beneficiaries with relatively fewer workers contributing to support them in the coming decades.  Combined with soaring health care costs, population aging will drive up public health care expenditures and demand an ever-larger fraction of national resources.  READ MORE.

 

 

Canada: Aging population Fuels Nursing Home Boom

MIKE DE SOUZA writes in the VANCOUVER SUN:

The number of seniors living in a collective dwelling such as a nursing home has increased from 285,370 in 2001 to 393,150 in 2011.

Canada’s rapidly aging population has prompted a 38 per cent increase of the number of seniors living in nursing homes or other collective dwellings over the last decade, according to census figures released Wednesday by Statistics Canada.

The numbers suggested that many trends were steady since 2001, with nearly four out of five seniors still living alone or with their partners, and the rest living either in a collective, with relatives or non-relatives.

But the growth in the total amount of Canadians aged 65 and over, from about 3.9 million in 2001 to about 4.9 million in 2011, is causing significant growth in every category, including retirement and nursing homes or hospitals.

“You hear the story that everybody is living longer, healthier lives, and that’s still true,” said Susan Eng, a vice president for CARP, an advocacy group for Canadian seniors, said in an interview. READ MORE.