2015-06-06 00:00:00 枣庄人事考试信息网    参与评论

    Aging in European Countries

      We have to realise how old, how very old, we are. Nations are classified as "aged" when they have 7 per cent or more of their people aged 65 or above, and by about 1970 every one of the advanced countries had become like this. Of the really ancient societies, with over 13 per cent above 65, all are in Northwestern Europe. At the beginning of the 1980's East Germany had 15.6 per cent, Austria,

      Sweden, West Germany and France had 13.4 per cent or above, and England and Wales 13.3 per cent. Scotland had 12.3 per cent. Northern Ireland 10.8 percent and the United States 9.9 per cent. We know that we are getting even older, and that the nearer a society approximates to zero population growth, the older its population is likely to be - at least, for any future that concerns us now.

      To these now familiar facts a number of further facts may be added, some of them only recently recognised. There is the apparent paradox that the effective cause of the high proportion of the old is births rather than deaths. There is the economic principle that the dependency ratio - the degree to which those who cannot earn depend for a living on those who can - is more advantageous in older societies like ours than in the younger societies of the developing world, because lots of dependent babies are more of a liability than numbers of the inactive aged. There is the appreciation of the salient historical truth that the aging or advanced societies has been a sudden change.

      If "revolution" is a rapid resettlement of the social structure, and if the age composition of the society counts as a very important aspect of that social structure, then there has been a social revolution in European and particularly Western European society within the lifetime of everyone over 50. Taken together, these things have implications which are only beginning to be acknowledged. These facts and circumstances were well to the fore earlier this year at a world gathering about aging as a challenge to science and to policy, held at Vichy in France.

      There is often resistance to the idea that it is because the birthrate fell earlier in Western and Northwestern Europe than elsewhere, rather than because of any change in the death rate, that we have grown so old. But this is what elementary demography makes clear. Long life is altering our society, of course, but in experiential terms. We have among us a very much greater experience of continued living than any society that has ever preceded us anywhere, and this will continue. But too much of that lengthened experience, even in the wealthy West, will be experience of poverty and neglect, unless we do something about it .

      If you are now in your thirties, you ought to be aware that you can expect to live nearly one third of the rest of your life after the age of 60. The older you are now, of course, the greater this proportion will be, and greater still if you are a woman. Expectation of life is a slippery figure, very easy to get wrong at the highest ages. At Vichy the demographers were telling each other that their estimates of how many old there would be and how long they will live in countries like England and Wales are due for revision upwards.





      我们人口的老龄化,是因为在西欧和西北欧出生率比其他地方下降得早,百不是因为死亡率发生了一些变化。对这一观点经常有人不以为然,但这是通过基本的人口统计学澄清的事实。当然,长寿正改变着我们的社会,但这只是经验论。我们之中有一种比先于我们的任何社会多得多的继续生存的经历,这种经历将继续下去。除非我们能在这方面采取措施,即使在富裕的西方,太多的这种经历将被,视为贫穷和荒废的过去。你现年三十几岁,你应当知道,你可以指望在活到60 岁以后再活上差不多15年。现在你年纪越大,这个比例就越高。如果你是女性,这个比例还会更大。预期寿命不是一个固定数字,在最高年龄上很容易弄错。在维希,人口学家互相转告,在像英格兰和威尔士这些国家,他们对将有多少老人和他们能活多久的估计应向上调整。

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