Aging Population essay
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Growth and development is an essential composition of every individual’s life cycle. Actually the major component shapes up the process of living. This means that it is the process of growth and development that leads to the occurrence of the various phases of a human beings life of childhood, teenage and lastly adulthood. Currently the growth patterns exhibited by many people tend towards the upper side; adulthood and it is only a matter of time before mucho ft he population is predominantly old. The article of my review is based on upon this basis. It must be noted that the adult population could be further stratified into two major classes of the young adults (comprises individuals aged 30 to 65 and is mainly characterized by young families and big families alike) and the aged (ages above 65). This article is titled; ‘aging population effect: More elderly than children for the first time in 2040’. In addition, tries to give an in depth analysis on the issue of aging and longevity.
This article tries to propose this proposition of the aged outnumbering the younger generation by the year 2040. This is quite interesting considering the younger generations especially the children seem to be winning it all when it comes to the issue of numbers. However, the author explains his stand according to statistical data obtained from the Census Bureau of the United States of America. According to these data, the population of the aged is set to surpass all other categories by 2040. The author goes on further to warn about the consequences that will accompany these demographic changes over the time frames for which they are scheduled to happen. Statistical inferences showed that the population of the aged generation was at around 506 million by 2008 but is expected to undergo a major metamorphosis in the following thirty years to all time new records of 1,300 million. Despite these large proportions of aged individuals being found in developed countries, the effects of these demographic alterations are hitting event he developing states as well. This means that repercussions are being felt at international levels in the economic and social sectors. Economically, the effects would be broadened to include increased costs of pension payments, increased levels of public expenditure as well as heath care costs and evolutions in the gross domestic products. The report further indicates that there is an increase witnessed in the developed nations as concerns the population of the older group of the aged population. This simply implies that persons above the ages of 80 are increasing in droves with each passing month much to the chagrin of the nations’ populations. The percentage increase in this segment of individuals especially in the developed states and some of the developing states is projected to be more than double within the periods of 2008 and 2040. Actually, the statisticians estimate this increase to be around 233% an indication of the worse things to come. The year 2010 has been singled out specifically as the duration over which the largest increase was observed. Then the question of the causes of these population changes suffices. The researchers have so far managed to trace the source of these changes to two major causes. First is the issue of increased fertility levels witnessed especially in the post second world war era. The author points out at this as the major contributing factor to the increased levels of the aged population. Most of the aged today were born at around this time. Secondly, a general decrease in the mortality rates among the aged population could also be included in the explanation of the increase in the numbers of the aged individuals. Looking at this from the positive side means that better healthcare services could be in existence in the developed countries and this could be the major reasons as to why there are records of increased numbers of aged individuals could have been made. Again, it could be viewed as a sign of a life well lived by the aged. These positive sides notwithstanding, it must be realized that this increase is more of a threat than an achievement. The author also points out at the existing economic difficulties that are associated with these alterations. Specific reference is made to the strain caused on the existing social services such as health care and pension payments. The consequences have far reaching effects not only to the nations alone but to the world as a whole. The global statistical composition of the aged population has been surveyed to be highest in developed nations such as Japan, the United States of America, China, Russia and Germany. This just proves that increased population among the aged varies considerably with the level of development.
The author pointed to the expected results that would be occasioned by these alterations. The first one would see an increase in the cost of pensions. As more and more people hit the old age mark, the government is forced to set aside higher budgetary allocations for the sustenance of the pension schemes. Increased population trends among the aged group in developed countries acts to expose existing social security programs to pressures of social and political nature. Apart from the pension schemes, other programs such as the social security systems present in the United States of America could be exposed to various problems (mostly financially related) if no secure alternatives are considered. These problems could include increase in the taxation system, adoption of lower living costs, reduction in the associated benefits obtained by the working class, excessive borrowing patterns and prolonging of retirement ages to reduce the level of dependant adults. These problems could also be used as policies which could be adopted to minimize these effects.
The second major problem that is associated with the aging population is increased public expenditure on health care costs. The aged are more susceptible to maladies that could warrant increased costs of health care. Such diseases could include chronic diseases (cancer) and disabilities that could force the government through its health care systems into debt or even bankruptcy if these conditions are not checked. Some scholars have even hinted at the possibility of the world becoming a global nursing home in the near future. This would subsequently put pressure on the global health systems. Lastly, the author sights evolutions in the trends of the gross domestic product as another possible effect of increase in the aged population. This simply means that with the increase in the aged population, there is a subsequent decrease in the productive labor hence an overall decrease in the domestic output. As the labor force is increasingly frozen, the GDP of the country is increasingly reduced.
Apart from the economic problems identified by the author, social problems could also be encountered by the aged population. One such problem could be increased abuse and neglect of the aged. This can be widely regarded as violence and could take various forms ranging from domestic to external violence. Since the aged generally require much attention, they could also act as source of employment especially as day care services offering nanny services could be boosted. They would be enlisted in day care centers offering such services. However, there could also be instances of increased old age dependencies that would put economic strains on the affected families especially if they do not have stabilized sources of income. As such the effect of aging would be strenuous.