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Chapter 3

SOC375 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill, Dependency Ratio, Old Age Security

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Kwame Boadu

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Chapter 3- Aging in Canada and the World Today
- Rapid increases in the older population in the least developed and the less developed nations have outstripped
social supports for older people in these countries, young people may need to support aging relatives while
they may be struggling to support themselves and their young families
- The developed nations face other challenges due to the large proportion of older people an increase in the
older population will challenge healthcare and pension systems
o Wealthier countries will need to reform social programs and services to meet the needs of an older
Measures of Population Aging
- Number of older people in the population gives you an absolute number so not used as often
- The median age of a population most commonly used
o Media age of Caada’s populatio as . ears i 
- Aging Index- the proportion of older people in a population used more than the absolute number
Aging in the World Today
- Fro  to , Caada’s populatio grew nearly fourfold the older population grew nearly 12x, almost 3x
the rate of the general population
- Caada’s populatio is oe of the older populatios i the orld, ad deographers epet it to age ee ore
in the next 50 years
- Demographers (experts who study population change) use at least 3 measures of population aging:
o The number of older people in a population
o The median age half the population is older and half is younger than the median age
Measure used to determine whether a country is aging
o The proportion of older people in a population
- These measures allow demographers to study changes in the composition of a population
- A population ages when any of these measures increase
- UN’s  ajor fidigs fro their researh o populatio aging:
o Nearly all countries in the world will experience population aging irtuall uiersal ad
Will affect the economy, healthcare, labour markets, and nearly every other social system in
countries around the world
o Calls the aging of the orld’s ad atios’ populatios upreedeted more than 50% of all deaths
at the world level occur at ages 60+
o The increase in the number of older people will take place at the same time as the world sees a
decrease in children
B , it’s estimated that the number of older people will be greater than the number of
children (first time in history)
o Population aging will continue into the future as long as fertility stays low and life expectancy continues
to increase
Population aging will take place in the context of rapid urbanization, industrialization,
globalization, and changes to the environment
- Countries will face specific challenges depending on their level of economic development:
o More developed regions- more developed countries comprise all of Europe and North America, plus
Australia, New Zealand and Japan
o Less developed regions- developing regions/countries are classified as less developed (ex. China, India,
Vietnam, etc.)
o Least developed regions- the least developed regions consist of 49 countries with especially low
incomes, high economic vulnerability, and poor human development indicators (ex. Haiti, Bangladesh,
Ethiopia, etc.)
- Oshansky and economic development:
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o Stage 1 pre-industrial period (<1750)
High mortality- infectious and parasitic disease (ex. whooping cough, tuberculosis, etc.)
Left expectancy (eo) was ~35 years
High fertility to compensate for the many deaths
Population growth was influenced by the high mortality (so not growing much)
o Stage 2 industrial
Lower mortality
High fertility
Increase in population due to lower mortality
o Stage 3 post-industrial
Low mortality rate
Low fertility rate (introduction of contraceptives)
Population influenced by low fertility
o Stage 4 modern/contemporary (added later on)
Low/high mortality rate countries with old population have high mortality (Western European
outries; others like Caada’s is lo
Low/0 fertility rate
Stable/negative population growth (more people dying than people born)
Aging in the Least Developed Nations
- These countries often have a low percentage of older people in their population, but they may have large
numbers of older people
o High birth rates and longer life expectancy accounts for this
Birth rate- the number of births per 1000 women in a population
Crude birth rate is number of births/total population
o These countries need to support a large number of dependent children and a large older population
- Social change adds to the challenge of aging in these countries (ex. facing hardships due to rapid urbanization
young leave to find work in the cities, leaving the old behind in villages without traditional family support)
- Some countries experience rapid population aging due to HIV/AIDS
o AIDS pandemic has hit the working population, leading to the loss of middle-age caregivers
o Has left many older Africans as the sole caregiver for their orphaned grandchildren
- Once a person enters old age, their life expectancy mirrors that of people throughout the world
o Means that the large older population will live longer than ever before but, may be in poverty
Old competing with the young for scarce resources
Aging in the Less Developed Nations
- Need solutions that fit their cultures and current economic conditions
o Ex. India large population of 1.3 billion
More than ¼ of people live below the poverty line
Uses most of its public resources for poverty alleviation, job creation, and food subsidies to the
Provides only pension relief to its poorest elders
o Ex. China
Began its one-child-per-family policy in 1979 to decrease population growth
Led to an increased proportion of older people in the population
Longer life expectancy also adds to the number and proportion of older people
China has the largest population of older people in the world; also, has the largest share
of the orld’s oldest old +
Ex. better healthcare leading to a decline in mortality
The speed of population aging will be faster in China than in any other country
Chinese traditions puts the responsibility for care of older people on the family law reinforces
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