The demographic Situation now and in the Next 10 to 20 Years

The median age proceeds from 33 to 44: eleven years of difference! Without cultural barriers, there are eleven generations from the oldest part of the population to the youngest part. This is a rejuvenation process, and not an ageing process. We have a rejuvenation process for eleven generations in the next 15 years. If we read the median age with the same culture and technical interpretation that we give today to our life cycle, we have eleven generations which will stop being older in the next 50 years and remain young.
We can remove the cultural barrier and we can take into consideration two populations: the young population and the old one are two different populations in Italy and in Europe. If we take into consideration the total population we again have the ageing index: starting from 1991 Italy was the first country in the world to have an ageing index of more than a hundred old people on a hundred young people. We can continue the exercises with the young and the old population according to our cultural barriers. The young population have the same indicator that we have used for the total population. We can consider all young people (those of 30-40 years of age) especially from the point of view of fertility or of the family formations, as old people. We have major disparities among the young population in respect of a very very young (0-10) years old: it is the exactly the same indicator as that for the total population. We looked and we found in statistical terms that we were able to see in every case that the effect is that the young population is ageing: what’s ageing in modern society is the young population! In 2001 it was largely more than a hundred and in 2020 it is 142,5 both for men and women.
We can take now into consideration the old population and we will proceed in the same way. The oldest old are those more than 80, compared to the young old, those between 60 and 70. Among the latter we have a rejuvenation not because old people are not increasing but because of the increasing of the very very old there is a rejuvenation of the young old. In fact the young old help the ageing old population to be a younger population like in Egypt or Costa Rica. Young populations in the world are ageing too but in very different way in respect to the ageing of the mature populations.

Table 3: Total population

Table 4: Young population

Table 5: Old population

Source: own calculations based on United Nations (2003).

This reading of statistical details give us the final indication that in the near future we will have few children, the ageing of young people, especially the extinction the adult population, and a rejuvenation of the old. We have an increase of the oldest old people and from the economic and social point of view we have to prospect, without cultural barriers, new images unfavourable to fertility; a new image of support for young people becoming old at a young age: a sort of pensions system for young people; we have to protect the adults, extend the working life of the young old and protect the pension systems for the very old and very very old: this is politically incorrect today.
This is not only my personal opinion. This subconsciously is the opinion also of the United Nations. They write that the threshold of the ageing is 77 years. In negotiations today anybody will accept these indications but this is the sign of our counter-ageing society: “In the absence of migration, to maintain in 2050 the 1995 ratio of persons of working-age to each older person past working-age, would require increasing the upper limit of the working-age span to 77 years” (Chapter “Italy”. United Nations Population Division, “Replacement Migration, 2001”; T/ESA/SER.A/206).
In this case the extension of working life, the so called active ageing, is the simplest consequence of all our reflections, the message of every international organization today. But this was already invented by Seneca two thousand years ago when he said that at 50 years (man) will stop working and have some offices till 60 and then he will be quiet. (A quinquagesimo anno in otium secedam, sexagesimus me annus ab officiis dimittet – Seneca). What we do not have today is the economic of having something to do between 50 and 60 years as in Seneca’s case. Today the period is between 65 and 75.
On this basis we are working on many academic scenarios with a view to taking from them some economic and financial implications and at the same time taking into account the invariance of a certain number of variables. But the conclusion of every scenario, and the most sophisticated scenarios that we can produce, is that if we remove the cultural barriers we have to move ageing to very old age, and if we do that we save a lot of money.

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