In many countries, the proportion of older people is steadily increasing. Does this trend have more positive or negative effects on the society?
老龄化同义词替换：ageing society/ living longer/ population ageing/ older generation/ older age groups/ greying/ improvements in life expectancy/ at advanced ages
positive effects/ benefits/
negative effects/ costs/ bring problems
familial, community and national levels 家庭 社会和国家层面
provide for 抚养
twice as numerous as 人数是。。。的两倍
restricted access to 有限的进入
pension schemes 养老金计划
in a position to do能够做
in the productive age group/ in a position to be economically productive
remain in the labour market/ postpone their retirement
soaks up 吸收
fertility rates 生育率
steady increase in life expectancy 寿命稳步延长
statutory age of retirement法定退休年龄
Ageing societies: The benefits, and the costs, of living longer
Population ageing, defined as a process which increases the proportion of old people within the total population, is one of the main problems of this century. It affects or will affect both developed and developing countries.
“Population ageing should be seen as a success story in the history of mankind, but nevertheless it brings problems at the familial, community and national levels, (从家庭，社会和国家层面上讲–这也是雅思写作想素材所要遵循的。遇到原因类和解决方案类的题目，从这三个方面想观点及素材。)affecting 现在分词作伴随状语 their ability to provide for older generations. The rapid increase in the size of older age groups means changes in personal needs. The tendency towards deteriorating health, for example, means an increase in the demand for care for these groups,” 弊：老人增多要求更多人照顾explains Adriana Scardino, chief of the Office of Actuarial and Economic Evaluation in the Social Insurance Bank of Uruguay and author of the ISSA report.
（深入思考女性寿命比男性长会导致的问题） What’s more, the fact that women live longer than men leads to a higher proportion of women in these at-risk groups. Worldwide, women now account for 55 per cent of the population aged 60 years and over. Among the very old (aged 80 and over), women are almost twice as numerous as men.
These women are likely to be widows, and to have acquired less education with fewer years at work and therefore more restricted access to social security. Special attention needs to be paid to these realities when deciding upon public policies concerning health, housing, social services and pension systems.
The viability 生存能力 of long-living societies will depend on the adaptability of labour markets and the sustainability of social protection systems.
The greying of the workforce 问题一，劳动力老化
Ageing has a direct impact on the labour market, 原因since improvements in life expectancy affect individual behaviour in deciding to remain in work longer.
“In this context, we should remember that changes in employment have a direct impact on the sustainability of pension schemes, both public and private. The labour market has an impact on pension schemes, while they in turn affect the decisions made by older workers to retire or remain in the market,” explains Mrs Scardino.
The numerical relationship between those who are in a position to be economically productive (14 to 64 years old) and those who are dependent (aged 65 and over) clearly shows the impact of the age structure in a society. There are fewer and fewer people in the productive age group able to provide support and protection for old people as years go by.
The problems of population ageing go hand in hand with economic growth and rates of participation in the labour market, and force us to analyse the need to change direction as regards the trend towards early retirement.
“Generally speaking it is safe to say that senior citizens who choose to remain in the labour market and to postpone their retirement generate additional income which will contribute to the financing of pensions. Probably, most young people take it for granted that they will work longer than their predecessors. However, it is more difficult to convince employers that they should keep older workers on their payroll and that it is worthwhile to do so,” explains Mrs Scardino.
Will health care costs get out of hand? 问题二：医疗保健费用增多
Public expenditure on health soaks up a large part of government budgets. According to an OECD report, the over-65 age group accounts for 40-50% of healthcare spending and their per capita healthcare costs are three to five times higher than for those under 65. And there are fears that public expenditure could rise as ageing in OECD countries accelerates.
Individual access to health services and care, which includes disease prevention, means that health promotion throughout life must focus on prevention and on delaying the onset of illnesses(发病) and disabilities, as well as on improving the quality of life.
Access to medical assistance and adequate social services are an essential part of social security and a prerequisite for healthy aging. Consideration of ways in which to improve the systems in order to prevent certain illnesses connected with old age or improve their treatment could simultaneously improve the wellbeing of old people and lead to more rational use of resources.
Reform pressure on pension schemes 问题三 养老金不足
深入分析人口老龄化对养老金的影响。Ageing will affect pension schemes in at least two ways: beneficiaries will be more numerous and they will claim benefits over a much longer period than at present.
In many countries the statutory age of retirement法定退休年龄 has remained the same in spite of the demographic changes. Furthermore, many people retire before reaching the official age of retirement to take advantage of early retirement incentives, which makes the situation even worse.
One of the biggest challenges will be to guarantee adequate income for old people without creating an unbearable load for the younger age groups. In a few countries such as Japan or Italy, where there are only just 1.5 active workers for each one who is passive, the situation will be very difficult to keep under control. The systems will have to be reformed, and probably workers will have to remain in the labour market longer.