An ageing population can bring economic, political and social advantages as well as disadvantages. Discuss this view.
“An ageing population can bring economic, political and social advantages as well as disadvantages.” Discuss this view.
An aging population, such as the in U.K can bring economic advantages as well as disadvantages. Firstly, the disadvantages of an aging population is that they rely more on health services with can put pressure on hospitals and GP clinic. This is experienced in the U.K where 48% of people over 70 have a long term illness. Therefore, in the U.K where there is the state NHS, this can cost the tax payer lots of money. Also, another economic disadvantage is that 70% of pensioners depend on the state for at least half their income. Therefore, this means that taxes will have to increase to pay for the pensions for the elderly. Finally, companies such as ‘Quiksilver’ who depend on the youthful market may find it hard to make business where the majority of the population is old. Yet, in contrast they can bring economic benefits. For example there is the ‘grey pound’ where elderly spend on niche markets such as the ‘Stannah Stairlift’, also they can spend their children’s inheritance money into the economy. Finally, they may also help the economy by working in places such as ‘B&Q’ during school and university terms where young workers cannot do so because they are studying.
This is a preview of the whole essay
Furthermore, an aging population can bring social benefits. For example, the elderly are less likely to commit crimes than the youthful populations so therefore they improve social welfare in areas. Also, they may change the views of elderly such as in the UK people such as ‘Judi Dench’ are common in film and theatre so the population may have changed their social views on elderly people and not their usual stereotype. Yet in contrast, they may bring social disadvantages. For example, there may be high segregation in areas with elderly due to their difference in opinion from previous generations. Also, another social disadvantage is that as the population is more elderly, people are now less risk taking than they were before.
Also, an ageing population can bring political disadvantages. For example, due to the high amounts of elderly people requiring pensions and wanting to retire, the government may be under pressure to change the retirement ages. This is seen in the UK where it is now 65 for both men and women and is set to increase to 68. Also, the government may also be put under pressure to raise taxes to pay for the many people who are now retired so that they can pay for their pensions so this may cause tension especially for the views of the economically active and youthful. A political advantage of an aging population is that they can form a large minority of voting such as the ‘grey vote’ which are the elderly people who have a vote, so have a sustainable impact on politics.
In conclusion, some people may argue that an aging population may bring overall disadvantages to society as a whole across the three factors identified, yet I would argue that this is not the case. Even if elderly people require greater health care access, they commit less crimes than the youth and therefore in one sector (police) they will spend less overall, yet in healthcare they may spend more and the two balance out.