In most places in the world, the death rate keeps falling. Even in the West, where we keep doing our best to tempt fate by gaining more weight, the trend continues to be toward longer life. Now some scientists believe the rapid growth of genetic knowledge may make further medical breakthroughs even more likely. How much longer might we live? And how will society cope if we do?
The more time goes by, the more staggering population statistics become: in 2050, people over the age of 65 will represent a quarter of the population in the most developed countries, against 16% today. The rise to power of the older generation disrupts companies, institutions, and policies. After publishing an interview of Francis Mer, former Minister of Economy and Finance of France, ParisTech Review continues its analysis of the upheavals caused by an aging population.
In all developed countries, the increase in life expectancy -almost three months a year at the current rate- coupled with the fall in the fertility rates has resulted in an inevitable demographic ageing. By the year 2050, a quarter of the French population, for example, will be over 65 years compared to 16 per cent today. The decline in the proportion of active population to inactive is a major economic challenge. Francis Mer, Minister for Economics and Finances of France from 2002 to 2004, analyses the consequences of an ageing population.