Thursday, 11 October 2007

In Japan after 90, they forget how to die.

Statistics are not all lies, but they need a healthy degree of scepticism, especially when they are projected forward 40 years or so. However every risk manager should take a look at the following UN website if they want to understand the trends that are likely with the ageing of the global population and to tease out the risks.

There is the astonishing fact that, due to the one child policy, the Chinese have 29 million more boys than girls under the age of 24. Then there is the projection that from having 600 million people over 60 in 2000, we will have 1,2 billion in 2025 and 2 billion in 2050, by which time , they estimate, there will be more people over 60 than under 14 on the planet for the first time ever. How will the taxpayers be able to afford all those senior citizen's travel passes, let alone find a car park space for the able bodied?

Of course some of these projections can be way out, but the trend to an older population is clear. In Japan where they have the greatest percentage of people older than 90 of any society in the world and still expect longevity to increase, they celebrate their centenarians' enthusiasm for life every week on what I cannot claim is a riveting TV show.

Have a look at the data from the UN it will raise a lot of questions, including how accurate some of it is.

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