Aging of Population

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Aging of Population


the increase in the number of elderly persons (over 60 or 65 years of age) in a population. According to a scale established by the Polish demographer E. Rosset, if the proportion of individuals 60 years or older in the population of a country is below 8 percent, the country is demographically young, if it is between 8 and 10 percent, the country is in the early stages of aging, if it is between 10 and 12 percent, the country is aging, and if it is 12 percent and over, the country is demographically old. The proportion may increase as a result of the decelerated growth of the number of children and adolescents compared to the increase in the number of elderly, either because of a declining birthrate or declining death rate of adults or because of the effect of both factors. Thus, the aging of population is associated with changes in population reproduction over a long period of time.

The population of most economically developed countries is considerably older than it was in the 1860’s and 1870’s because of a steady decline in the birthrate, with approximately 16 percent of the population being 60 years or older today. In the USSR, the fraction of those 60 years or older grew from 6.7 percent to 11.8 percent between 1926 and 1970. The population of developing countries is relatively young, with the elderly constituting 5–6 percent of the population. Migration may also contribute to the aging of population because it affects various age groups to different degrees. Specifically, the migration of young people from rural areas to cities results in the aging of the rural population. The socioeconomic consequences of the aging of population are primarily associated with an increase in the ratio of retired individuals to working people.


Rosset, E. Prolsess stareniia naseleniia. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from Polish.)
Kurs demografii, 2nd ed. Edited by A. Ia. Boiarskii. Moscow, 1974.
Narodonaseleniestran mira: Spravochnik. Moscow, 1974.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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