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Attitudes on Aging Vary From Country To Country

Central Washington Senior Times

It turns out that some people don’t think an aging population is a bad thing. Especially in the United States where the number of older adults is balanced by the increase in immigrants.

This is one of the conclusions in a new report from the Pew Research Center on “Attitudes About Aging: A Global Perspective.” The countries with the highest percentage of older adults are in Asia, led by Japan, where a large percentage of the population (87 percent) calls aging “a major problem.” This is countered by the U.S. where only 26 percent agree with this statement and it is even lower in Egypt, with 23 percent considering it a problem. The U.S also has an advantage over other nations with large aging populations as its population is aging at a slower rate.

A major concern of those facing their older years is finances. When those who were surveyed responded to who should bear the greatest responsibility for the economic situation of their families, government or retirees, the government was the choice in 13 out of 21 countries. Americans differ somewhat in this regard, more confident than Europeans that they will have “an adequate standard of living in their old age.” On the other hand, the greatest concern to most governments with a large aging population is that a smaller working age population could lead to an economic slowdown “creating financial stress for social insurance systems and dimming the economic outlook for the elderly.”

Related to this is a concern that economic resources will be diverted from the needs of children to those of older adults.

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