Europe's Aging Population : Europe

1400 Words6 Pages
Europe’s Aging Population Europe provides a well-documented example of a developed region experiencing an aging population. Carone et al. (2005) say that over the coming decades, the number of people aged 65 and over in the EU is predicted to double, as a result the old age dependency ratio will change to 2:1, meaning that for every two people of working age there will be one aged 65 or older. The scale of the aging population is compounded by the region’s low fertility, with member states averaging 1.5 children per childbearing woman in 2004, well below the replacement rate. Carone, et al. (2005) point out that there are cultural and structural reasons for this, including high usage of birth control; higher female education attainment and…show more content…
Over the last 10-15 years, this has become an issue as Europe’s elderly population has grown substantially. In 2014, the over 65’s accounted for 18.5% of a 506.8 million EU total (Eurostat, 2015). In 1960, the share of the population aged over 80 was only 1.5%, however, it had risen to nearly 5% by 2010 (OECD, 2013). Inward migration is put forward as a potential solution to filling the labour deficit left by aging populations. For the EU, proposals for a quota of migrants adjusted for each member state’s circumstances could help alleviate the challenges of an ageing population (Ellyatt, 2015). Through bringing in migrants of working age, Denton and Spenser (2014) suggest that gross domestic product (GDP) will increase; they note additionally that bringing in families will help boost fertility rates and therefore mitigate the challenges of an aging population over time. However, these proposals have been met with criticism. Despite being dated, Coleman (2000 and 2001) said that encouraging migration is only a short term fix. In order to ease the issues of population aging, the rates of immigration would have to be so high that the cultural, social and political side effects of altering the composition of the host population would outweigh any potential benefits. For example, it is noted by Kassam, et al. (2015) that Germany would need an average of 533,000 imigrants every year to offset its shortage of workers. The likely
Open Document