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Global Population

Free «Global Population» Essay Sample
 

The potential hazards of various social and economic trends may have a profound impact on the global society. One of the most urgent issues nowadays is the problem of population ageing. Different stakeholders such as governments, private companies, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are involved in this process. The other important questions are migration and urbanization. All factors that influence the global public initially have an effect on local and national populations. The shifts in demographics and social or economic environments induce changes in worldwide population trends. The prospects and the risks that it can face as a result of recent demographic directions should be controlled by international powers to balance the positive and negative manifestations of population ageing, migration, and urbanization, and change social and economic frameworks to meet the altered global community needs.

Population Ageing

Challenges and Prospects

Population ageing is a trend that unfolds around the world and causes numerous challenges due to changing demographics and associated issues. While fertility rates are falling, life expectancy grows, and these tendencies result in a major shift in the age structure of the global population (Sander et al., 2015). However, the demographic and socioeconomic aspects of populace development differ in various countries. Thus, according to Sander et al. (2015), very few nations, such as Vietnam, have benefited from this major demographic transformation. In these countries, the rate of the young has decreased, but the size of the active age citizens and living standards have grown. On the other hand, the majority of nations, such as Italy, suffer from reducing the active age population and detrimental social traditions, which imply the predesignated retirement age and the lack of females in the workforce composition (Sander et al., 2015). As the researchers emphasize, existing social conventions tend to hinder the adaptation of nations to the modern socioeconomic conditions (Sander et al., 2015). Thus, flexibility in demographics and the economy directly depends on traditions and social settings. According to Sander et al. (2015), the Italian economy restoration could benefit from the increased fertility and the higher immigration rates. Thus, while some countries take advantage of the population ageing, others need to adapt and change their socioeconomic environment.

The prospects of global population growth require societies that are unlikely to benefit from it at least at the initial stage. Sander et al. (2015) state that voluntary social isolation and detachment are inherent in the elderly people, which potentially leads to the loss of intergenerational communication. In the world where information exchange and communication are the pillars of development, the lack of free information and interaction would be an essential drawback. With this in mind, either fertility rates need to be raised or the shift in social conventions is required (Sander et al., 2015). The formation of the age-friendly community or working environment is likely to allow elderly citizens to remain calm concerning their future, which will definitely positively influence healthcare determinants. Consequently, the main hazards of global population ageing imply the particular need for an innovative approach that would prompt the elderly to be active in their late life.

Shift in Workforce Composition and Retirement Age

The relatively recent tendency of the longer lifespan and the decrease in mortality rates positively contribute to the humanity’s evolution. Nevertheless, the years of life following the retirement should currently be regarded as damaged by social conventions that indicate the restrictive age for working and designate the potential diseases of this age group (Sander et al., 2015). To maintain the favorable environment, the elderly should be allowed to work and be able to perform routine tasks.

The changing demographic tendencies are anticipated to create the age groups of people over 60 amounting to two billion in two decades, with the majority living in low- and middle-income countries (Radovic-Marcovic, 2013). By 2020, the workforce composition is likely to shift towards the median age of 62 comprised of 55 million people (Radovic-Marcovic, 2013). This is also likely to influence the revision of retirement age measures, especially in countries where it has not been reconsidered for a long period of time. Otherwise, the enhancing pension outlays are expected to significantly damage economic outcomes of the countries that fail to adapt to the new conditions.

Hence, the stakeholders such as governments, public and private companies have to respond to the challenges of global population ageing as the key decision-makers. Unemployment is one of the major issues to be fought (Radovic-Marcovic, 2013). By increasing the retirement age, governments will simultaneously boost the percentage of the active age people and contribute to the unemployment levels. However, the issue of health remains since the elderly are more likely to have age-related health conditions (Radovic-Marcovic, 2013). Therefore, particular attention should be paid to the age discrimination. The environments where the senior participants are discriminated by age put restrictions on social and professional development of the older workforce, limit their potential career success, and harm their employment opportunities and rights (Radovic-Marcovic, 2013). Older females represent a special group of the ageing population who suffer more from discriminating attitudes on the labor market, with the age and gender being the obstacles to the potential employment. As the major employers, governments, public and private companies should base their hiring preferences on the workers’ abilities and expertise as the main factors rather than on age- or gender-related misconceptions.

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Economic Growth, Taxation and Immigration

Changing demographics in the form of the ageing population is also expected to influence the economic development. A study in macroeconomic impacts of ageing has found that even seemingly insignificant changes in the productivity growth are likely to considerably improve the quality of life in the future (Institute of Medicine, 2013). Although taxes have been one of the essential concerns in relation to the ageing population, the innovative approach of involving the elderly to a longer effective economic life is likely to benefit both such people themselves and the global community. Since currently retired people tend to earn, spend and pay less, their contribution to the economy stays reduced. However, the changing demographic, social, and labor trends are likely to increase their economic contribution.

Immigration can be expected to be partially responsible for the ageing populations. Global decision-makers should encourage immigration of young scientists and talented individuals who can contribute their minds and effort to the national economies (Institute of Medicine, 2013). This is likely to compensate for the lack of innovations because of the ageing population. Governments should take into consideration the areas of taxation that need to promote innovation as the part of the transforming social frameworks (Institute of Medicine, 2013). New policies in the sphere of education and scientific innovation are likely to be aligned with the increasing immigration tendencies.

Public and Private Sector Response to the Ageing Issues

As it has been previously mentioned, ageing issues pose essential challenges to the existing social frameworks and infrastructures. Current social conventions and misconceptions regarding the age-related health issues and professional abilities prevent societies from accepting older people as equal members and effective participants of the labor force (Radovic-Marcovic, 2013). Despite the increasing lifespan and the improved quality of life, misconceptions about the elderly are strong (Radovic-Marcovic, 2013). Hence, governments, public and private organizations have to align their efforts in ensuring that the older workforce can find and take corresponding employment opportunities. This can be achieved through the introduction of educational policies aimed at social and economic flexibility development in the modern youth to prepare them for a long and economically effective life as well as social initiatives to promote the benefits of older age (Institute of Medicine, 2013). Therefore, all efforts of global decision-makers have to be directed, on the one hand, towards the development of adaptation qualities of ageing populations and on the other hand, towards the integration of flexible attitudes within societies.

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Migration

Migration to Another Country and Governmental Restrictions

The impact of migration as the process of moving to another country is still considered controversial. Researchers suggest accepting its implications as varying and depending on the environment and the time period (Zaiceva, 2014). Zaiceva (2014) refers to migration as to “investment in human capital” (p. 2). Potential migrants evaluate the benefits and the drawbacks of leaving their current residence and moving to another one to increase the returns on migration (Zaiceva, 2014). Thus, people may leave low- and middle-income states to earn money and send remittances to their families in the native land or seek better living conditions, healthcare, education, and other social opportunities (Zaiceva, 2014). In turn, they contribute their skills and knowledge to the economy of the accepting state. Thus, migration can lead to either success or failure in terms of the economic development of the nation. It is the task of global players to introduce policies that can help immigrants adapt to the new environments and become the part of the future ageing population that can be economically effective. Its advantages include remittances for the national economy and working contribution for the accepting country (Zaiceva, 2014). Moreover, the young workforce is likely to compensate for the ageing populace in terms of innovative approaches and adaptive behaviors. At the same time, such employees will later belong to this ageing part of the society, so they need to know how to become more competitive and effective on the labor market. Thus, migration to another country is a responsible step that brings essential benefits to the economies of both sides. However, in addition to positive implications, there are also negative consequences of immigration (Zaiceva, 2014). They include the opposition of the locals who believe that the newcomers take their work from them. On the other hand, Zaiceva (2014) indicates that due to ageing, the employers tend to offer lower wages to older people, and the latter have fewer opportunities to leave their area seeking better job opportunities. Consequently, they tend to accept these lower payment offers. Thus, companies benefit from ageing populations while this tendency is not fully beneficial for the older populations.

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Refugee resettlement that occurred in recent years as a result of war conflicts in the Middle East is an essential challenge faced by governments nowadays. While immigrants are believed to contribute to the country’s economy with their skills and expertise, and they frequently enter the country with the aim of this contribution, refugees seek the asylum. Hence, these two groups should be differentiated on this basis (Pan, 2016). The state’s economy is likely to benefit from immigrants but spend more on accepting refugees.

With the ever-increasing globalization rates and the resulting movements of people, some governments tend to protect their citizens from the excessive competition on the labor market or the older population moving from rural areas (Zaiceva, 2014). For its accomplishment, the authorities put governmental restrictions on immigration, particularly for the oldest and the youngest (Zaiceva, 2014). This approach is likely to promote the national economy unless the country admits the highly qualified specialists who can contribute their talents to the financial and social realms.

Rural to Urban Areas Migration

Migration can also take place within the borders of the same country, from rural to urban areas as a rule. This tendency is encouraged by the lack of educational and work opportunities and proper healthcare service provision in the majority of rural regions. However, migrant workers, especially the older, may face significant issues when arriving in urban areas. As Zaiceva (2014) emphasizes, health care and pension plans depend on the local registration of the older worker, so it may cause additional challenges. Moreover, integration into new communities and adaptation to the new living conditions may also pose certain obstacles (Zaiceva, 2014). Hence, governments do not always support this movement of citizens since it may imply abandoning the agricultural industry, which often lacks the workforce (Zaiceva, 2014). Financial needs make people leave their remote areas and enter the new communities of cities and metropolitan areas. This shift is the economically-induced tendency that demonstrates the consistency with the change of the economies based on the transformations from the agriculture to industrial or service-providing societies (Zaiceva, 2014). This major alternation has predetermined the movements of populations to the urban areas where people can easier find jobs and become the members of the global community.

Conclusion

The elderly can be assigned to the active age population through the conscious shift in social conventions and frameworks. Thus, they can contribute to their national economies and global economy overall. The retirement age is seen as the obstacle to the change in workforce composition, so the innovative approach to ageing populations could imply its elimination. This would signify the greater economic input by the elderly, though the question whether they would be able to work effectively remains because of some health-related conditions. With this in mind, policies are aimed at the improvement of educational, healthcare, and other social spheres. Global decision-makers have to be aware of the positive and negative sides of the ageing population and control them in order to meet the global population needs. Approaches targeting the flexibility and the adaptation to the changing demographic environments should become the priorities.

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