The Impact of an Ageing Population

About this essay

As we all know, one of the global issues, ageing population has affected the worldwide and are known to increase within the next few decades. This essay will analyse the impact of ageing population where it is one of the main impacts of global issues in the 21st century today which have influences on not only socially and economically but also politically as well from the Ministry of Health.

In addition, the ageing population have effects from different perspectives such as towards the New Zealand Society itself and also New Zealand companies, especially retirement homes like ‘The Selwyn Foundation’.

Throughout the world, ageing population has affected most countries around the world. In the past few years, there have been high birth rates and death rates. However, the number of proportion for elderly has increased rapidly which has never been seen before by the history of civilization (United Nation: Programme on Ageing, n. . ). By 2050, United Nations have predicted that the number of elderly over 60 years old will increase from 10 to 22 percent alone.

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Especially in Europe, the life expectancy is greater than other parts of the world where the population that is over 60 years old was already one third during 1995 (UNECE Ministerial Conference on Ageing, n. d. ). In 2020, it is predicted that one out of four people will be at least 60 years of age. As well, at the same time the younger population will be decreasing.

On the other hand, in New Zealand, the age will increase significantly over the next 50 years. Nevertheless, as the biggest city in New Zealand, Auckland still remains a young average population compared to other cities where only 16 per cent forecast to be aged above 65 years by 2026 (Elderly Population a future concern, 2010).

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However, currently there has been wide debate about whether New Zealand should prepare for population ageing by increasing national savings (Bryant, John. , Guest, Ross. & Scobie, Grant, 2003) in order to achieve target growth to increase living standards but there are no solutions been made on this decision yet. In 2004, it was estimated that there were 844,000 people living in New Zealand under the age of 16 (the current school leaving age) and 1,325,000 people aged 65 years and over (the current general retirement age).

Therefore, by the year 2051, the total dependency ratio in 2051 with 42 percent will be similar to the dependency ration in 1951 with 43 percent (Population and Sustainable Development, n. . ). However, the ageing structure will be different as a result of affect from ageing population. In the latest news, the Ministry of Health Tony Ryall commented that “The number of New Zealanders over the age of 85 will increase from nearly 50,000 to more than 125,000″ (Changes need to cope with ageing population, 2010). As well, with more rising of life expectancy and developed medical treatment, population is ageing more slowing which means that the burden of ageing population may not be dramatic and feared.

The change of ageing population affects the demand and supply for ‘The Selwyn Foundation’ because the affect in supply depends on the elderly who are increasing on the demand in health care and disability services with chronic disease and dementias each year. This means that more elderly will likely to be in need of to be taken care off in the rest homes because their children may be busy so rest homes will be a convenient place for them to stay in since there will always be someone around to take care of them.

On the other hand, productivity growth refers to the quantity of goods services that a worker can produce for each hour of work. Due to the ageing population in New Zealand, currently the ratio of population aged 65 and over to the ‘working age’ population aged 20 to 64 is about one-quarter. By the year 2050, this ratio is expecting to rise to a point where fewer workers will have to support more non-workers (Professor Tim Maloney says ageing population, poor productivity NZ’s changing world challenge, 2010).

For rest homes like ‘The Selwyn Foundation’, it means companies will also need to looks for more workers to help out the elderly due to the increase. As a result, more money will also need to be spent on elderly than to the younger people which reflects the association between ageing and poorer health status, greater number of accessibility to hospitals and the amount of disabilities. In this case, this will lead to high cost age groups later on the years. As for GDP, it will be affected by the productivity growth associating with ageing population where the number of people who are working (age 16 to 64) will be falling each year.

This means that the level of GDP of real productivity growth will be assumed to be 1. 5% by 2051 (Ministry of Health, n. d. ). However, in latest news from ‘Otago Daily News’, a financial company called ‘Stand and Poor’ suggests that the current GDP of 14. 4% will be expecting to rise to 21. 1% by the year 2051 and also predicts that the government debt burdens of most advanced economies could reach unsustainable levels of more than 300% of GDP in the next 40 years (Ageing NZ burden for GDP, 2010) due to population ageing.

Inequality has been a big issue which is affected from ageing population in New Zealand where it has influences on hospital waiting lists where due to more elderly having more serious treatments, younger people have to wait in long queues due to the reducing numbers of beds per 1000 population. For ‘The Selwyn Foundation’, times like this will be much benefit for then as well as the elderly because it will reduce the waiting list in hospital for the younger people.

The lack of a fall in inpatient admissions and continuing increase in discharge rates due to day patients is contributed by an ageing population and increases in those with long-term conditions (The New Zealand Medical Journal, n. d. ). According to Ministry of Health, hospitals such as Middlemore, 25% of all medical-surgical inpatients who are staying in hospital overnight are aged over 55 years of age in 2005 and 2006 where elderly have been recorded for having diabetes with the proportion as high as 40% for people of Pacific and Indian ethnicities, and 35% for Maori (The New Zealand Medical Journal, n. . ). This tells us that with more elderly patients increasing in the years coming up, hospitals and rest homes will needs to decide on what to do with the population ageing as it will still be growing in the coming years ahead of us. On the other hand, the inequality of skills shortage of ageing population in New Zealand is another problem in the 21st century where retired people are leaving some professional jobs in short of for qualified people to do the work required.

Some of the skills that are in short of are most health professionals, engineers of all types, IT specialists and a range of trades, as well as more specific areas such as senior accountants, auditors, senior policy analysts, microbiologists and graphic designers (Working in New Zealand for people moving country, n. d. ). Due to ageing population, currently some jobs such as dentists are aged mostly over 45 years old for half of them and a third of dentists are over 50 years of age. As for doctors, in 1991, average age is 30 to 31 years old but in 2006 it has been increased to 45 to 49 years old (Working in New Zealand for people moving ountry, n. d. ). However, it will encourage people to work past 65 years old and would have positive benefits for the workplace. As well, demand for healthcare would do better than supply and friends, rather than families would play a bigger part in providing care for future older New Zealanders. On top of inequality for skills shortage and hospital waiting list, income inequality is also affected from ageing population considerably where it mostly affects elderly since younger people gets paid minimum wages.

The cost of retirement income in New Zealand is currently is at a level of 65 percent of the average wage for a married couple and has been estimated to exceed 8 percent of GDP over the next fifty years, up from 4 percent in 2001 (The Treasury, n. d. ). However, as health of better health and increasing longevity for people over the age of 65, this indicates that an increase in the potential working life of individuals in New Zealand will occur which means that old-age dependency ratio could arise out of increases in the potential working lives of New Zealanders (The Treasury, n. . ). In conclusion, due to the global issue of ageing population, the growth of elderly people is beginning to become a big concern to the younger people. However, with the influence from social and economic perspective we are able to see how ageing population affect the New Zealand Society as well as New Zealand companies.

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The Impact of an Ageing Population. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

The Impact of an Ageing Population
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