Skip to Main Content


Population aging is transforming the world in dramatic and fundamental ways. The age distributions of populations have changed and will continue to change radically, due to long-term declines in fertility rates and improvements in mortality rates (Table 70-1). This transformation, known as the Demographic Transition, is also accompanied by an epidemiological transition, in which noncommunicable chronic diseases are becoming the major causes of death and contributors to the burden of disease and disability. A concomitant of population aging is the change in key ratios expressing "dependency" of one form or another—the ratio of adults in the workforce to those typically out of the workforce, such as infants, children, retired "young old" (those still active in many ways other than paid work) and the oldest old. Global aging will affect economic growth, migration, patterns of work and retirement, family structures, pension and health systems, and even trade and the relative standing of nations. Both numbers (the size of an age group) and ratios (the ratio of those in the labor force age group to dependants such as the young or retired, or the ratio of children to older people) are important. The size of population age groups might affect the number of hospital beds needed, while the ratio of children to older people, the relative demand for pediatricians and geriatricians.

Table Graphic Jump Location
Table 70-1 Selected Indicators of Population Aging, Estimates for 2009 and Projections to 2050; Selected Regions and Countries

Want remote access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.


About MyAccess

If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have a MyAccess profile, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus.

Subscription Options

AccessMedicine Full Site: One-Year Subscription

Connect to the full suite of AccessMedicine content and resources including more than 250 examination and procedural videos, patient safety modules, an extensive drug database, Q&A, Case Files, and more.

$995 USD
Buy Now

Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessMedicine

24 Hour Subscription $34.95

Buy Now

48 Hour Subscription $54.95

Buy Now

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.