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International Conference ‘Population Ageing. Towards an Improvement of the Quality of Life?’ Organised by the Belgian Platform on Population and Development.

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Presentation on theme: "International Conference ‘Population Ageing. Towards an Improvement of the Quality of Life?’ Organised by the Belgian Platform on Population and Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Conference ‘Population Ageing. Towards an Improvement of the Quality of Life?’ Organised by the Belgian Platform on Population and Development Brussels, 1 March 2007 Under the auspices of the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DGDC), the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITG) in Antwerp, and the Research Centre of the Flemish Government (SVR) Population Ageing. A global phenomenon with many faces Population Ageing. A global phenomenon with many faces Ronald C. Schoenmaeckers SVR – Studiedienst Vlaamse Regering (Research Centre Flemish Government)

2 Parts/ purposes of the presentation To show that ‘population ageing’ is indeed a global phenomenon. –Increases in the proportions of people aged 60 and more in all major regions and continents –Identification of the two extreme groups of countries: former EU15 and SSA (countries of Sub-Saharan Africa) That (at least for the time being) the major ‘motor’ of the increase in older people is different for the EU15 and the SSA countries. –This will be shown with the results of a simple simulation exercise. That in addition to ‘population ageing’ the SSA countries continue to be confronted with the issue of rapid population growth. Finally, that for the Less Developed Regions (LDR) the changes will occur at a (much) more rapid pace than what the MDR have ever experienced. SVR

3 Evolution of the percentage of persons aged 60 and over, World, More Developed (MDR), and Less Developed Regions (LDR) SVR MDR LDR World 12% 33% 6% 20%

4 Evolution of the percentage of persons aged 60 and over, World, More Developed (MDR), and Less Developed Regions (LDR) SVR

5 Evolution of the percentage of persons aged 60 and over, World and Continents N. America Oceania Europe Asia L. America & Caribbean Africa +/-12% +/-6% 34.5% 10%

6 SVR Evolution of the percentage of persons aged 60 and over, World and Continents Europe Africa

7 SVR Evolution of the percentage of persons aged 60 and over, World and Continents Europe Africa EU15 Sub-Sahara Africa The most extreme situations appear to be found among the member states of the former EU15 and the countries constituting SSA (Sub- Saharan Africa). We therefore limit the presentation to these 2 groups of countries. It can be assumed that the other countries (or groups of countries) occupy an ‘intermediate’ position and/or follow an ‘intermediate’ path.

8 The simulation exercise As known, changes in the age structure are the result of changes in fertility and/or mortality (we disregard the possible effects of migration). The purpose of the simulation exercise is to assess the relative share of the changes in mortality and fertility on the increase in the proportion (or number) of persons age 60 and more. The simulation is made separately for the EU15 member states and the SSA countries. In both cases the ‘base line’ population are the observed numbers for the year  In a first step these numbers are projected (until the year 2100), assuming the observed/ expected changes in mortality, but while keeping fertility fixed at the level for  In a second step the projections will be made assuming the observed/ expected changes in both mortality and fertility. SVR

9 Results simulation exercise: Relative changes (left scale, ‘1950’=1) in fertility and mortality in the EU15 and SSA, SVR TFR

10 Results simulation exercise: Relative changes (left scale, ‘1950’=1) in fertility and mortality in the EU15 and SSA, SVR TFR

11 Results simulation exercise: Relative changes (left scale, ‘1950’=1) in fertility and mortality in the EU15 and SSA, SVR E0 TFR E0 TFR

12 Results simulation exercise: Relative changes (left scale, ‘1950’=1) in fertility and mortality in the EU15 and SSA, SVR What are now the relative effects from these changes on the proportions of persons age 60 and more (right scale, again with ‘1950’=1) ? Let us first look at the effects of the changes in mortality, i.e. the increase in life expectancy.

13 Results simulation exercise: Relative changes (left scale, ‘1950’=1) in fertility and mortality in the EU15 and SSA, Effect of changes in mortality only SVR

14 Results simulation exercise: Relative changes (left scale, ‘1950’=1) in fertility and mortality in the EU15 and SSA, Effect of changes in mortality only SVR For the EU15, between 1950 and 2100, the lowering of mortality alone would imply a doubling of the proportion of persons age 60 and more, from about 14% to 28% (on the right scale corresponding to a change from ‘1’ to ‘2’) For the Sub-Saharan countries, between 1950 and 2100, the impact is much more limited. After a decline, the proportion would resume its initial value of about 6%. This could seem awkward in view of the remarkable increase in life expectancy. The explanation is the relatively high value of fertility, which is kept constant at a TFR=6.7.

15 Results simulation exercise: Relative changes (left scale, ‘1950’=1) in fertility and mortality in the EU15 and SSA, Effect of changes in mortality only SVR Let us look now at the relative effects from both the changes in mortality and fertility.

16 Results simulation exercise: Relative changes (left scale, ‘1950’=1) in fertility and mortality in the EU15 and SSA, Effect of changes in mortality and fertility SVR

17 Results simulation exercise: Relative changes (left scale, ‘1950’=1) in fertility and mortality in the EU15 and SSA, Effect of changes in mortality and fertility SVR The changes in fertility have an additional although rather limited effect on the proportion of older persons. The increase from 1980 to 2040 is the immediate result of the fertility decline in the 1960s. A completely different situation. Clearly, so far, for Sub-Saharan Africa the main ‘force’ of ‘population ageing’ is not the increase in life expectancy but the (important) decline in fertility. At the same time, the results show that, although the increase in the proportion of people aged 60 and more, has so far remained rather limited, there would be an acceleration in the increase within the next 5-10 years. Note that the increase is ‘tapering off’ after 2030 (when fertility has remained stable for some time).

18 Changes in population size The SSA countries will however not only be confronted with a rapid increase in the proportions of older people. At the same time, they will continue to face the issue of rapid population growth. This is the subject of the next slides. The illustration will be made with the use of so-called ‘planes’. The advantage of using planes is that several planes can be presented in one single graph (the evolution in the age composition will be shown in 25-year intervals). The graphs refer to the relative growth. As before, the situation ‘1950’ is used as reference. One additional advantage is the possibility to compare the evolution of the European countries with that of the African countries. SVR

19 Evolution in population age structure (%), , with percentage values scaled to total population size in 1950* * Ref. = ‘1950’ =1 Situation 1950

20 SVR Evolution in population age structure (%), , with percentage values scaled to total population size in 1950* * Ref. = ‘1950’ =1 Situation

21 SVR Evolution in population age structure (%), , with percentage values scaled to total population size in 1950* * Ref. = ‘1950’ =1 Situation

22 SVR Evolution in population age structure (%), , with percentage values scaled to total population size in 1950* * Ref. = ‘1950’ =1 Situation

23 SVR Evolution in population age structure (%), , with percentage values scaled to total population size in 1950* * Ref. = ‘1950’ =1 Situation There are striking differences between the two groups of countries. By contrast, the EU15 countries remain relatively stable in terms of population size: a modest increase between 1950 and 2025, from 295 million to 394 million (x1.3), and a small decrease (of -2%) between 2025 and On the other hand, there are important changes with respect to the age structure. For one thing, between 1950 and 2050 the proportion of older persons increases from 14% to 34%. In the SSA countries, the percentage of older people remains low by European standards: even by 2050 it will be not more than 8%. On the other hand, by 2050, their numbers will be 15 times larger than in The most remarkable observation is the population growth of the SSA countries: from 180 million in 1950 to no less than 1.7 billion in 2050  a multiplication by 9.4 (!)

24 SVR Evolution in population age structure (%), , with percentage values scaled to total population size in 1950* * Ref. = ‘1950’ =1 Situation The SSA countries are not the only countries that will continue to face the issue of rapid population growth. Between 1950 and 2050, the entire African population will have increased with a factor of x8.6; the populations of Latin America & the Caribbean with a factor of x4.7; the population of Asia with x3.7); and the population of Oceania with x3.6. The only continents with only modest increases in total population size are Northern America (x2.6) and Europe (x1.2). (And, as already indicated the European population will in fact decline, from 728 million in 2000 to 653 million in 2050, or -10%.) Even by 2050 the proportions of persons aged 60 and more will still be much lower in LDR compared to MDR: ‘only’ 20% vs. 33%. However, after 2000 one witnesses a sharp acceleration of the increase in all LDR. Indeed, between 2000 and 2050, all LD countries will experience a high annual growth rate in the number of older people, higher than what MD countries will experience: 3.1% for Africa; 3% for Latin America; 2.7% for Asia; and 2.2% for Oceania (compared with only 0.8% and 1.7% for Europe and Northern America, respectively).

25 What did we learn? (1/2) The simulation results show that for the EU15 the main force behind the phenomenon known as ‘population ageing’ is the lowering of mortality; the fertility decline of the 1960s has only intensified the phenomenon. For the SSA countries, however, for the next decades, the main force in pushing the proportions of older people upwards is the (drastic) fertility decline. For the EU15 member states, as of around 2040 (when fertility will have remained stable) the pace of the increase in the proportion of older people will come down. By contrast, for the countries in SSA, the increases of the proportions of older people would just have started. In fact, it is to be expected that for the African countries (and LD-countries in general) the increases will happen at a much higher pace that what MD- countries have ever experienced. SVR

26 What did we learn? (2/2) In addition to experiencing changes in their age composition, many LD-countries will continue to face the problem of increasing population numbers, both with respect to the total size of their population as with respect to the numbers of older people. –MD-countries will only experience moderate changes. In fact, because of fertility levels below replacement, some countries may even face the issue of (a modest) population decline. Already today, a majority (69%) of all people aged 60 and more in the World live in LDR. By 2050, this percentage will have increased to 82% (corresponding to around 1.6 billion). SVR

27 To conclude (1/2) So far, life expectancies are still far lower in LDR than in MDR. However, also in these countries one has observed spectacular improvements. For example, in Sub-Saharan countries, between 1950 and 2000, life expectancy has increased by no less than 25% (from 37.4 to 47.0 years). The AIDS pandemic has curbed the growth of life expectancy in many countries, especially in Africa. Some have even experienced a regression in their situation. However, we may expect — and we certainly should hope — that, in spite of this, LDR will soon ‘catch up’ with the situation in MDR. ‘Population ageing’ will pose serious socio-economic challenges. This is true for both the countries in the ‘North’ and in the ‘South’. Some of these challenges will be addressed in more detail by the next speakers. SVR

28 To conclude (2/2) ‘Population ageing is here to stay’. Already in the foreseeable future, all countries, from ‘North’ and ‘South’, will face similar demographic situations and (hence) similar socio-economic challenges. This could be a good reason for (more) international collaboration. –A ‘key’-issue could be the exchange of ‘good practices’; countries from ‘North’ and ‘South’ could learn from an exchange of experiences and traditional practices. Finally, let us keep in mind that in the LD-countries these demographic changes will occur at a more rapid pace than what European countries have experienced (or will experience); that these countries will continue to face the problems of population growth; and that they already face poor economic conditions. SVR

29 Thank you for your attention SVR


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