Chapter 2


Declining birthrates, longer life expectancy and the ageing of the ‘baby boom’ generation have increased the number of senior citizens – those 65 years and over – in most Western societies. In countries such as Japan and Italy, their numbers are projected to account for up to 40 per cent of the population (CSIS 2011). This large-scale increase is expected to put strain on younger taxpayers in order to sustain social services. In 1950, there were 12 working people for every senior citizen in the world. By 2010, that ratio had dropped to 9 to 1 and is expected to drop further, to 4 to 1, by 2050 (PRB 2008). Contributions to health care and social security programmes are also expected to rise as a result of this demographic ...

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