Ageing and Youthful Populations
IB Geography-Populations in Transition
By the end of this Power-point, you should
be able to:
- Explain dependency and Ageing Ratios.
- Examine the impacts of youthful and
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- A country's population can be divided into three groups,
old dependents, young dependents and economically
Old dependents: Anyone over the age of 65. These
people are normally retired.
Young dependents: Anyone under the age of 16. These
people are normally being cared for at home or are at
Economically active: People between the ages of 16 and
65. These people are normally working and pay taxes.
Dependency Ratio: the relation between dependents (old
and young) and economically active. The dependency ratio
is calculated using the following formula:
N. B: The dependent Population isithe sum of old and young dependentsfl
1. The UK has a dependency ratio of 0.65 (2004)
l 2. India has a dependency ratio of 0.54 (2012)
3. Greece has a dependency ratio of 0.37 (2004)
Factors influencing High Dependency
Increasing life expectancy- people are living longer, which
means that more children are being bom and are also living
Falling death rates- Less deaths due to advances in medical
care mean that less elderly are dying of degenerative
diseases and infant mortality rates are decreasing.
Rising Birth rates- more children + live to a large age.
Immigration of dependents- if young and elderly migrate
into a country, the dependency ratio will rise.
Emigration of economically active- ‘If economically active
leave the country, the dependency ratio will rise as the
number of economically active decreases.
Ageing dependency Ratios
Ageing ratio: The proportion of people over the
age of 65 compared the total population.
Econctnically population aged 65+ X100
‘W’ population aged 15-64
It would be possible to show a country's population structure on a triangular
graph. For example, the graph below would show old dependents on the left
hand axis (15%), young dependents on the right hand axis (35%) and
economically active on the bottom axis (50%).
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Introduction to Ageing Populations
Definition: A rise in the median age of the population
usually associated with an increase in the proportion of
Causes of Ageing Populations:
High life expectancy caused by: , / , .
° Good medical care
° Good diet and improved water supply
~ Good sanitation and hygiene '-§ «; . L, .4
Low birth rates caused by: ‘ '
- Emancipation of women
- Cost of children
~ Emigration of economically active
Problems caused by Ageing
Negative Impacts of Ageing Populations might include:
Shortage of economically active and economic depression
Reduced taxation income for the govemment
Cost of providing healthcare and care homes (elderly tend to get ill
Reduced spending on education, policing, transport network, etc.
Cost of paying for pensions
Service decline (schools, sports centres, etc. not used by older
Solutions to an Ageing Population
Solutions to an Ageing Population might include:
- Pro-natalist policies (e. g. Singapore)
- Increased immigration of economically active
- increased retirement age (e. g. UK)
- Private pensions (e. g. Aviva)
~ Private healthcare (e. g. Bupa)
0 Increased taxes of economically active
The Simple solution: Have Babies!
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Advantages of Ageing Populations
Positive Impacts of Ageing Populations might include:
- Elderly people have a lot of experience and can be valuable in the
- Less money spent on schooling and natal medical care.
- Lower crime rates and less money needed to be spent on policing.
Pros and Cons of having Elderly workers:
Workers will have a lot of experience of the It might be necessary to retrain some staff in
workplace (wide skill base) new skills e. g. ICT
Elderly workers will not take maternity or Elderly workers are more likely to get sick- pay
paternity leave more for health insurance.
Elderly workers are often more loyal and seen Elderly workers are harder to invest in, because
as been more reliable they could retire at any time.
Elderly workers may be more willing to work Elderly people might be unable to work in many
part-time or flexi-time so companies can alter manual (physical) jobs.
staff to meet demand.
Case Study: The UK’s Ageing
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Reasons for the UK’s Ageing Population
- In 2005, 16% of the UK’s populations were over 65. This is
expected to rise to 25% by 2041.
Reasons for the UK’s Ageing Population:
1. Increasing life expectancy- between 1980 and 2006, life
expectancy in the UK rose 2.8 years for women and 4 years
for men. It is currently 81.3 for women and 76.9 for men. As
people live longer, the number of older people increases.
2. Baby Booms- Lots of babies were born in the 1940’s and
60’s. These large generations are starting to retire, increasing
the number of elderly in the UK.
3. Falling Birth Rate- there are fewer young people, so the
proportion of older people is greater.
What problems does this cause?
The UK’s Ageing population has many negative impacts:
. Many elderly people living in poverty
Pressure on the pension system- there aren’t enough
people of working—age to pay for an adequate pension for
the retired population. State pensions are paid for by the
working population through taxes.
- the state pension
isn’t very large, and many people don’t have other
savings. This is because the working population isn’t large
enough to provide a better pension.
Pressure on the health service- older people often need
more medical care than younger people. For Example, the
average stay in hospital in 2005 for people over 75 was 13
nights, whereas the UK population as a whole had an
average of 8 nights.
Introduction to Youthful Populations
Deﬁnition: A fall in the median age of the population
usually associated with an increase in the proportion of
Causes of Youthful Populations:
High birth rates caused by:
° lack of family planning
° No education about contraception
- High infant mortality
° Primary based economy
- No care for old dependents from government
- Immigration of young dependents
' Tradition and status of large families (prestige)
Problems caused by Youthful Populations
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Solutions to an Youthful Populations
Solutions to an Youthful Population might include:
~ Anti-natalist policy (e. g. China’s one Child Policy)
° Increased immigration of economically active
~ Privatised education (remove cost from government) ‘I , . ,6-7
- Privatised healthcare (remove cost from government) 23’
- Removal of child beneﬁts. [Is this realistic? ] . /
- Reduced birth rates (family planning, contraception, etc. )
~ Reduced infant mortality rates (people then normally have less babies)
~ Greater care of old dependents (less children needed to care for
- Immigration restrictions (quotas)
Advantages of Youthful Populations
Positive Impacts of Youthful Populations might include:
» Lower death rates so less money spent on care
- Educated and IT literate population (many elderly people are
unfamiliar with new technology)
- Abundance of future workers Strong military in the future
- Large future market (young people are often interested in
Case Study: Uganda’s Youthful Population
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Reasons for the Uganda’s Youthful Population
o In 2007, 50% of the population was under 15 and only 3%
were over 65. The population is becoming even more
Reasons for Uganda’s Youthful Population:
1. High birth and fertility rates- every year there are 48
babies born for every 1000 people, and women have an
average of 7 children during their reproductive years.
2. Low Life Expectancy of around 52 years- there are very
few older people, which means the proportion of the
population made up of young people is very high.
What problems does this cause?
- Uganda’s Youthful population has many negative impacts:
1. Overpopulation- The population currently stands at around 30 million,
but by 2025 it is thought that it will grow to about 56 million. This leads
to consequent problems:
2. Pressure on the health service- around 6000 women already die
each year in childbirth. When the youthful population reaches the
reproductive age, the pressure on the health service will be even
greater, potentially leading to more deaths. The health system is also
stretched because of AIDS. It is passed on from mother to child and
through un-protected sex, which means that AIDS may spread further
when the youthful population start to have children, putting even more
strain on the health system.
3. Unemployment could get much worse- In 2003, unemployment in
Uganda was 3.2%. However, 50% of the population are under 15 and
so weren’t accounted for in those ﬁgures. When the large youth
population reaches working age there won't be enough jobs for them
all, which means that unemployment will rise further, causing poverty