Study Suggests Population Aging Will Decline
Population aging is an increase in the median age of a population, due to declining fertility rates and rising life expectancy. A recent study suggests that, due to changing life expectancies and quality of life, the boundary of old age should shift and that measures of aging should be based on population characteristics.
The study used new measures of aging in combination with probabilistic population projections from the UN. It found that people are living longer and with a better quality of life. While the boundary of “old age” has traditionally been 65, increased life expectancies mean that people are staying healthy and active past that point. The study suggests that the “old age” boundary should be shifted to reflect the current lived reality of people’s lives.
The study also found that population aging in the United States , China and Germany will peak and begin declining well before the end of this century. Population aging is a concern for countries because it means there are fewer people of working age and more people who need additional care.
Researchers from Stony Brook University conducted the study. It was published on June 21, 2017, in the PLOS One.