Usually, we measure population aging by the percentage of people above a certain age. For example, Portugal had the fourth largest percentage of 60+ individuals in 2017 (27.9 %). Forecasts suggest that by 2050, about 42 % of the Portuguese population may be aged 60+, roughly the same percentage as in neighboring Spain and lagging only Japan. This is a phenomenon affecting virtually every developed country.
Such figures raise concerns about the sustainability of health and pension systems and even the sustainability of economic growth. Why?
Our challenge is to allow individuals to remain as active as possible and to age as healthily as possible, maintaining their functional capacity.
We need not only to alleviate the pressures of aging on the economy but also, and above all, guarantee the quality of life.
Overall, the longevity economy, which includes the value of the productive activities of the 50+ (paid or unpaid), their consumption, tax contributions, and savings, will soon represent more than half of the American GDP, according to a recent AARP estimate.
So, how can we capitalize on these opportunities?
This article follows my participation in a round table about health and sustainable development at the 2.º Congresso da Unidade de Saúde Pública e da ACT do Baixo Vouga on May 24th.
Researcher and invited teaching assistant at Nova School of Business & Economics. She is an active member of the Nova SBE Nova Health Economics & Management Knowledge Center.Website
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