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For a long time until recently, aging had not been a recognizable issue in the world. This is because the world population had not aged: it was still young, with the number of children who were below 15 years being a lot higher than the aged. However, the increase in life expectancy and the decrease in fertility rate have changed the ratio of the young to that of the old. This has come amidst projections that in the coming years, there might be a notable progress in the population aging especially in the world. The issue of population aging is the most important trend in the demographic studies, with many scholars looking at the issue. Therefore, research on this issue has been intensified than in the years back, and there are evidences that the aging population is presenting the world with challenges, which can be seen at the national, regional, and global levels (Uhlenberg, 2009).
The problems of aging population in Europe are particularly on the issues of the reversed pyramid demography of the continent. There is much worry on how some of the problems are going to be solved and this involves almost every sector ranging from finance, health, job and education sector. The other worry is on how the increasing old people are going to cope with the situation that is getting worse by day due to health and environmental issues (Gilford, 1988).
To begin with, the health care system is struggling not to collapse due to the increasing needs that the aging people demand. For instance, there are so many old people in the old people’s homes and the financial efforts from the government are no longer efficient. This is because of the complexity of the health situation in which some of these individuals are. The vast majority are either considered physically or mentally challenged either due to old age, sicknesses or due to Alzheimer. This means that there is demand for more health workers in the old people’s homes. The situation has reached a point where work to be done exceeds the trained workforce, posing a great challenge in the health sector. Considering that, there are other areas demanding the attention of healthcare workers, the workforce has become so outstretched making it almost impossible to meet the individual demands of the old people (Gilford, 1988).
The weight of the workforce is not only carried by the healthcare sector but is to a great part felt by the European governments. The matters are especially made worse by the financial instability across the Euro-zone. Some of the health insurances are unable to meet the costs and a good number of the old people cannot afford private health care coverage. This is where the family members are forced to shoulder some of the problems like meeting some of the medication costs and seeking cheaper healthcare professionals to could assist them as per arrangements. Having sickly old people at home is creating many complications especially for the families with children who also demand as much attention as the elderly (Gilford, 1988).
In the question of demography, some scholars and governmental organizations are analyzing the case trying to come up with some solutions. Unfortunately, current statistics indicate a continuous stagnant growth for the last decade. This situation raises an alarm with facts stating that without a significant birthrate in comparison to death rate, a nation has low chances of survival. In comparison to other parts of the world and most specifically in Africa, Asia, and South America, the case is very different. In this continent, the birthrate is so high in comparison to the mortality rate (Uhlenberg, 2009). Demographic studies in the last three decades across the two continents demonstrate a great difference. In Europe, while the Kindergartens are half-empty, and while schools and colleges still have enough room, Africa and South America depicts a scenario where the classes in all levels of education are to a bursting point. Some of the children in the least developed nations where there are inadequate government schools and very few private schools, many children, and youths lack the chance to access education (Uhlenberg, 2009).
The advantages of the Europe scenario are that there is creation of jobs in the health care system due to the increasing number of the elderly. The demographic issue also comes along with some advantages for the current young generation. For instance, the children have enough shares of basic needs and can even enjoy some luxuries like sophisticated electronics. This is not the case in the populated regions like Africa where it is difficult provide the children with even the basic needs like quality education (Uhlenberg, 2009).
The disadvantages of the increasing aging population lie not directly on the old people themselves but on the fact that the younger age group can longer sustain the weight of the responsibilities. For instance, the working generation is forced to work longer to replace the many pensioners and elderly. Many nations have increased the retirement age up to 67 years. Apart from working for a longer period those from social state models like in Germany are taxed heavily so that to support the elderly population. Studies from economists and community developers hold that the young generation is the driving force to the development of a nation (Gilford, 1988). In other words, the stagnant economic situation in Europe might precede in the future while the situation other places like Africa and South America will continue with the current development; hence developing zones (Uhlenberg, 2009).
In conclusion, the aging population in Europe poses many problems that affect almost every sector and the society as a whole. However, some advantages come along with the current situation and this is for instance the adequate resources for the entire population in comparison to the situation in the developing nations. Unless there are some drastic changes in the demography of the Euro-zone, there may be encouragement of immigration so that the nations can function appropriately. This means European ethnic groups may in future be decimated.