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More thoughts on aging populations

November 8, 2010

I looked at an interesting photo essay on aging populations in Foreign Policy.  I wanted to share a few quotes and the above picture of elderly women in Chongqing.

First, about the US:

Recently, old people — with their ballooning consumption of health care and Social Security benefits — have been accused of bankrupting the United States. “Far from serving the young, the old are now taking from them,” New York Times columnist David Brooks recently lamented.

Then, Sweden:

With 18 percent of its population over age 65 and the first country to have more than 5 percent over 80, Sweden is one of the oldest countries in the world — and a model in eldercare. Older people in Sweden are especially independent, thanks to government-funded services such as visiting homemakers and meal deliveries.

Thirdly, a tidbit about Russian babuskas:

While male life expectancy in Russia hovers around 60, women — who are less prone to rampant societal ills such as alcoholism — live to an average age of 73. This has led to an interesting phenomenon: communities populated entirely by old women. According to the Guardian, there are at least 34,000 Russian villages inhabited by 10 people or fewer, almost all of them old women.

Lastly, a bit about the ladies above:

By 2050, there are projected to be almost 440 million Chinese over age 60 and more than 100 million over 80. Less than one-third of workers have a pension, and though the government is working feverishly to create a safety net for the elderly, Chinese leaders are worried about the possibility of social upheaval due to the aging crisis.

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