A report by MAPFRE Economic Research shows that an aging population with a longer life expectancy is one of the greatest challenges of our times and can be as disruptive as overpopulation.
The globe has a population of 7.7 billion according to the latest stats, but continuing and a marked reduction in fertility rates, together with the increase in life expectancy outline a process in the demographic transition in our time.
An ageing population comes with significant costs and raises many issues that policymakers need to address. It means less money coming into public finances and more money going out to handle increased healthcare and pensions, says the report.
One of the most visible consequences of the increase in life expectancy is the direct impact it will have on the group on which the ageing population will depend.
“This (development) undoubtedly constitutes one of the landmarks in the history of humankind,” says Antonio Huertas Mejías Chairman and CEO of MAPFRE.
As with all major social changes, the increase in the percentage of elderly people will bring huge challenges for the structure of society and for the institutions on which that structure is founded, Mejías says.
“However, this emerging pattern will also offer opportunities for revitalizing social and economic organisation, based on a longer-living population that can — with an implementing of the right public policies — become a powerful resource in the process of transformation and innovation that will shape the society and economy of the future,” he says.
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