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Older Persons can be an Asset to the Economy

There are around 600 million people aged 65 or older across the world. And by 2035 more than 1.1 billion people -nearly the current population of India- will be above the age of 65 (UN estimates). At this point there will be 26 people aged 65 and over per every 100 adults of working age. But in Germany, for example, the ratio will be 66 to 100! And even the developing world will see its "old-age dependency rate" double to 22 per 100 by 2035. At first glance this phenomenon seems very worrying for the future of the world economy. However, many arguments can also be advanced in support of the opposite view. First, there is an increasing tendency for people to work longer, by choice or to supplement their pension income. Next, the productivity, whatever the demographic developments will not necessarily decline, quite the contrary, mainly because of a greater use of robotization in the industrial process. Finally, the growing number of seniors can provide a real boost to various sectors such as the research and design of new food products, new medicines, housing technologies etc...Far from being a burden on the economy older people are in fact net contributors. This assertion is confirmed by a recent report (Age UK 2014): people aged 65 and over in the UK last year contributed £61 billion to the economy through employment, informal caring and volunteering...which is 6 times more than the money spent on social care by local authorities in England. Furthermore, OECD statistics stressed that incomes of older persons grew faster than those of the population as a whole. It is also a fact that in many developed countries, for example in France, lot of retirees are economically better off than young workers. Seniors, both individually and through their commitment in society can undoubtedly contribute to the development of countries and peoples.

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