Thursday, June 21, 2007

Eastern Europe, former Soviet states are world's fastest-aging nations

Populations in many countries of Eastern  Europe and the former Soviet Union will be among the oldest in the world by 2025, the World Bank said Wednesday. It urged governments to shed their complacency and act now to deal with the trend. The median age of populations in Europe will increase from 38 today to 49 in 2050, more than 20 years beyond the median age in Africa, the bank said in a report. Spain, with half its population older than 55 by 2050, will be the oldest country in the world followed closely by Italy and Austria, with median ages projected to be 54.   But the fastest aging countries over the next two decades will be in those of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, the result of unprecedented declines in fertility and rising life expectancies,» said the report. The analysis concludes that although aging in the region is occurring in the context of unprecedentedly weak institutional development, countries can avoid severe economic consequences if they accelerate their economic transition and undertake pension and health care changes to meet the aging challenge.

Source:  PR,
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