EU27s population ageing: is the divide in conditions followed by a split in attitudes?

Jitka Rychtarikova, Charles University in Prague

In the future, virtually all countries will face population ageing and the phenomenon is expected to be irreversible. The European Union population will remain the world’s oldest region into the 21st century. According to EUROPOP projection, the percentage of people in EU27 aged 65+ will increase from 17.4% in 2010 to 29.5% in 2060. However, the pace of ageing will vary across countries. The future oldest populations will be less healthy compared to people living in more economically advanced countries of Western and Northern Europe. The study will primarily focus on confronting demographic indicators of ageing with investigating the attitudes towards the elderly based on the recent survey on Active Ageing (Special Eurobarometer 378 2012). The East-West divide observed through demographic indicators of mortality and health is also repeated in attitude patterns. Citizens in former EU15 tend to be more satisfied with their health than those in NMS12 (12 New Member States). People view the beginning of old age differently across EU. People are most likely to set old age lower in Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, Germany, etc. General perception of the elderly at age 55 and over is the most positive in Luxembourg, Finland, Cyprus, Denmark, Ireland, Belgium while it is very negative in Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Latvia, Slovakia. Former socialist countries do not show old-age friendly environment despite the fact that currently they still belong among the youngest populations. Therefore, for such countries it will be a significant challenge in the future to cope with the fast population ageing.

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Presented in Poster Session 2