An Aging World

So many things about this article from NewScientist were shocking - and interesting - to me! The author has clearly done his research on human aging, and my how it has changed in just the last 150 years. I was first captivated by the Japanese woman who, at 108, still takes to the dance floor for traditional dances!
I found myself rereading the statistics that it cited throughout...here are just a few:
- As recently as 1984, Japan had the youngest population in the developed world, but by 2005 it had become the world's most elderly country. Soon it will become the first country where most people are over 50 years old.
- The idea of a retirement age was invented by Otto von Bismarck in the 1880s, when as chancellor of Germany he needed a starting age for paying war pensions. He chose the age of 65 because that was typically when ex-soldiers died. But today in developed countries, and soon in poorer ones, women can expect nearly 30 years of retirement, and men 20 years.
- In just a generation, world fertility has halved to just 2.6 babies per woman.
There are obviously two sides to this story of an aging world...on one side there are fewer and fewer taxpaying workers and more and more retiring folks. On the other side, those who are aging are really living full lives at their old age.
I highly recommend checking out this article - think about how much the world has changed in the past few generations, and how much wiser our population has become with all this experience under our belts!

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