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Ageing Populations - The UK in the European Union

UK Ageing by rgamesby
Think about it
The European Union is a collection of countries that collectively trade, set up social projects and collaborate together to try and raise the living standards of all people living within that union.  Many of the countries in the EU have very low birth and fertility rates as shown below;

France - 12.43 births per 1000, 1.97 births per woman
Germany - 8.21 births per 1000, 1.41 births per woman
UK -  10.67 births per 1000, 1.66 births per woman
Poland - 10.04 births per 1000, 1.29 births per woman
Italy - 8.01 births per 1000, 1.32 births per woman

(Source: CIA fact book 2010)

The replacement rate for a country to have a population of a sustained size is 2.1 births per woman.  It is clear from the table that many of these countries have fertility rates well below these levels.  Coupled with the ageing of these populations, this poses massive problems for the governments of these countries because they have naturally decreasing and ageing populations.

The UK is a good example of one of these countries as is shown in the graph below and the video above;

So what is the UK's solution to having an ageing population?
Dealing with ageing - the state pension age for females has already risen to be in line with males at 65 and both will rise to 67.  There has been extra money set aside for care of the elderly, including things like the Winter fuel allowance and free flu jabs for all elderly.  
Dealing with low fertility rates - There are many pro natal policies in the UK designed to boost the fertility rate.  These include child benefits (a weekly payment to people who have children), improved maternity leave for women and men, health in pregnancy grants and child trust funds (which are about to be phased out).
The other way of dealing with the increasing dependency ratio of the UK and the rise in the number of elderly relative to the number of working age has been to allow unlimited immigration from the EU and controlled migration of peoples from outside of the EU.  This is a controversial issue, for example, many of our health care workers come from poorer nations such as India.  Should we take the skilled workers of poorer nations?

Watch the videos at the base of the page and answer the following;

What are the main features of an ageing population?

What are the opportunities and challenges of an Ageing population?

What is being done to tackle the issues arising from ageing populations?




Watch the videos above and this video at the BBC's website