The impact of an ageing and declining population

Across Europe there has been a drop in fertility leading to an ageing population. This can cause problems and these problems can arise at both ends of the age structure.

An increased population of older people means that:

  • there is an increased demand for health and social care
  • it becomes increasingly difficult for governments to provide satisfactory pensions, which are ultimately funded by taxes paid by the working population.

The reduced numbers of babies and children means that:

  • there is less need for schools and school teachers
  • industries which provide products for children - for example pram manufacturers - may suffer
  • in the longer term, companies may have difficulty recruiting young workers
  • the economically active group gets smaller and has to support a growing dependent population

The video below explores some reasons why the UK's population is ageing.