NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

October 16, 2013

Our view: Coping with a greying population

People turning a 100 years old isn’t as rare as it used to be, so we shouldn’t be surprised to find out that the life expectancy of the world’s population is rapidly increasing.

The problem is that it’s happening so fast that most countries are not prepared. A study recently issued by the United Nations and an elderly rights group now provides the data to put that problem into perspective and should prompt world leaders to give the issue the attention it deserves.

The report reveals that nations are simply not working quickly enough to cope with a graying population. By 2050, for the first time in history, seniors older than 60 will outnumber children younger than 15.

Of course the fact that people are living longer speaks highly of advances in health care and nutrition. But with that comes the reality that many countries still fail to address basic needs for their senior citizens, such as health care and housing.

This is not just an issue for developing countries. Demographers in the United States have sounded the alarm about the need to make long-range plans in dealing with a large elderly population.

With that increase in older folks typically comes higher medical expenses, higher long-term care costs, more prevalence of disability, a reduction in income-tax collections, slower labor force growth and possible slower gross domestic product growth.

It’s obvious more has to be done on many levels to make sure the country is ready for this dramatic shift in demographics. Housing, tax collections, health care and employment are all affected. Community and government leaders need to plan for the future, taking steps to make sure preparations are made for a graying population.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans