Population ageing in Portugal: a review and appraisal linking approaches

Maria Cristina S. Gomes, Universidade de Aveiro
Maria João Guardado Moreira, ESE - Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco/CEPESE
Alda B. Azevedo, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and University of Lisbon
Isabel Batista , ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa
Maria Mendes, Universidade de Évora
Lídia P. Tomé, Universidade de Évora

Population ageing is a dominant feature of the recent development in Portuguese demography. In this paper we intend to make a review and appraisal of this process between 1950 and 2011. On the one hand, a clusters analysis gives an overview of the patterns of ageing as well and its development in Portugal. On the other hand the reinterpretation of the indicators of ageing proposed by Sanderson & Scherbov contributes to the understanding of population ageing as a need to reorganize the life cycle rather than a demographic fatality. The results from the clusters analysis allowed to evaluate the stages of the ageing process and its territorial consolidation, besides the definition of homogeneous regions with regard the ageing patterns. The new measures of population ageing give a refreshed perspective of the population ageing process. When considering the remaining life expectancy, the increase in the prospective median age for both sexes is 4.56 years, complementary to the 15.50 years measured by the conventional median age. The increase in the population proportion at ages with remaining life expectancy of 15 or fewer years is from 8.38% to 12.79%, lead alternatively to an increase of the proportion of elderly from 6.97% to 17.64%. Finally, the growth in the prospective old-age dependency ratio from 13.55% to 17.18% draws clearly a different picture than the change in conventional ratio, from 11.01% to 26.29%.

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Presented in Poster Session 3