Kausar Fatima looks at a problematic issue
Old populations of many countries are getting old and they face shortage of able and potential workforce. Declining birth rates, growing divorce rates and increasing life expectancies are among the many factors changing demographics around the world. These reasons have resulted that Old populations in many countries have aged and they not only play less role in the development process but also become liable to be taken care in old age.
Just over 21 per cent of Bulgarians are aged 65 and over, contributing to both a general aging of the population and one of the fastest depopulations in all of Europe. Between the mortality rate among seniors and the exodus of young people fleeing corruption, Bulgaria’s population, which was 9 million in the 1980s, is expected to drop to 5.4 million by 2050.
Croatia is yet another European country with a significantly aging population. Approximately 20.8% of Croatians are 65 years old or older. A severe economic crisis has also pushed younger people to seek opportunities elsewhere in Europe. This trend was then accentuated when Croatia joined the European Union in 2013 and travel became easier.
Approximately 20.8% of Malta’s population, like Croatia’s, is aged 65 and over, a figure that is estimated to rise to 34.68% by 2065. This, combined with a low birth rate and an exodus of young people to richer European countries, is creating an increasingly older population.
As in the rest of Europe, France’s population continues to age. Those 65 years old and over comprise approximately 20.3% of the total population. With an increase in the average life expectancy from approximately 47 years in 1900 to around 80 years today, combined with the baby boom between 1946 and 1974, the number of French inhabitants aged 75 and over is expected to double by 2070.
The Baltic States’ demographic profile is often described as alarming, especially in Latvia. Not only is one-fifth of its population over 65 years of age but the fertility rate also decreased from 1.6 to 1.4 in just two years between 2008 and 2010. The social crisis following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, during which maternity and early childhood support deteriorated significantly, is partially to blame for this aging. Free movement within the Schengen area has also left Latvia with a negative migration rate. Younger people are leaving to seek better working conditions in neighbouring countries.
As in several other European countries, one in five Swedes is over 65 years of age, and every year the Swedish population gains 30,000 retirees who aren’t replaced by younger workers. What’s more, by 2037, it’s estimated that less than 60% of the total population will be of working age. To counteract its aging populace, Sweden has implemented family-friendly social programs, resulting in one of the highest birth rates in Europe over 1.8 children per woman.
Slovenia’s stagnant population has been aging for several decades. Indeed, 20 percent of the population is over 65 years old, a figure that’s likely to increase due to the country’s low birth rate. Slovenia’s government is already enacting measures to absorb the costs of its aging population, such as the creation of private retirement homes and the implementation of immigration strategies. TW