Is an ageing population necessarily a bad thing?
In developed nations, an increasing proportion of senior citizens in their population has been observed. This phenomenon is known as ageing population which poses significant challenges to their economy. While the working population does not experience growth in the same ratio with the working population, the burden of supporting larger number of elderly people lies on the smaller number of working people. In other words, government's expenditure on supporting elderly population including social security and medical care, takes up a sizable proportion of country's GDP. This affects the nation's expenditure on other sectors such as education, infrastructure development, and the like. However, whether ageing population is really a bad thing or not requires careful examination.
Ageing population is seen as a threat to the developed nations, where birth rates are very low such that they experience negative population growth. While the younger population declines and the older population increases, many difficulties can be expected to arise. Problems can range from increasing cost of supporting elderly, to negative population growth which might completely weaken the nation in the longer term as their population is not replenished.
On the contrary, ageing population can be managed to a large extent, in my opinion. For example: if ageing population is healthy they can still take part in the economy and earning. In developed countries, majority of the elderly population is healthy and active. In such case, the ageing people might not create too much a burden unto the shoulders of the active young population.
Similarly, ageing population still acquire the skills, knowledge and expertise, which they can use to train and motivate younger population to make them more productive. They can assume the roles of mentor, motivator, and the like. They can give training and share their knowledge and experiences. In such a way, we can accelerate the capacity development of the youth, who can afterwards contribute much more to the economy. This is one good way of managing the old population.
Likewise, old people can be trained to lead a simpler life, which refrains itself from unnecessary materialistic consumption of the modern world. That way, it would cost lesser to support the old population. Another way to curb down the cost is by promoting preventive measures for controlling senile diseases, such as exercise, balanced diet, hygienic environment and so on. For this, we need to make all the old people aware of the current challenges and then explain them why their own consciousness towards their health can contribute to the betterment of the whole country.
However, even more hope comes from the technological development. The advancement of the technology will make value creation cheaper as that will involve more automated machines and machinery instead of the human labour. The advancement in automation and robotics technology can really reduce the need for human labour in the workplace. This can not only allow younger population to support elderly, but also give them privilege to enjoy more leisure. Our future can really be interesting.
In conclusion, ageing population is being sensed as a source of challenge for the developed nation at the present. If earth's carrying capacity is considered we would have eventually reached this stage at some point of time. It's just that the time has arrived for the developed nations. However, we can take advantage of the ageing population in order to expand our capacity and developmental horizons, which in turn, can be later useful to support their lives. I really don't see much vice in the ageing population.