Aging populations are the most significant factor in population change in MEDCs. How valid is this view? (30)
Throughout the world, MEDCs face the issue of an aging population and population change. This is due to the stage in which that county is according to the demographic transition model which indicates that as birth rates decline and death rate remain stagnant, an aging population is created. In the UK for example the baby boom of the 1950s due to increased confidence and the feeling of opportunity mean at the time now has resulted is a high population of elderly people in the UK. This, combined with the generous welfare benefits (attributed with Aneurin Bevan), rising economic wealth and the technological developments in medicine has meant the population in MEDCs is increasing rapidly and now makes up a significant proportion of the population in many MEDCs, for example the over 65s make up 16% of the UK population in 2009.
However there are other factors such as migration, government policies, social expectations and regional differences which make an aging population a significant, but not the only factor attributed to population change.
The effect of an aging population in the UK can have impact on society and the economy which can fed through to escalating population change. It can also cause political, social and economic tensions due to it's impacts. Firstly, an aging population is likely to be a drain on resources, both physical and financial, as older people will draw a pension from the government and require extra resources in terms of healthcare and mobility. The NHS for example is increasingly spending on elderly patients, which cost several times more to treat than younger patients due to the fact hat they can remain unwell for prolonged periods of time. Moreover, older people generally live in a house with one other person, or alone. This can cause a housing shortage, as seen in South East England where house prices are...
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