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Quadruple Ageing Dynamics: A Deep Dive on Portugal

The curated Keytrend "Quadruple Ageing Dynamics" it's related with the Megatrend "Ageing, Longevity and Demographic Changes" in our

Quadruple Ageing Dynamics

The trend of four concurrent ageing processes in developed countries is poised to reshape societal, economic, and healthcare landscapes significantly.

These intertwined ageing dynamics will present unique challenges and necessitate adaptive strategies to sustain economic growth, social cohesion, and healthcare systems.

1. Increase in the General Population's Average Age: This phenomenon, often resulting in the inversion of the age pyramid, reflects a broader demographic shift where older individuals comprise a larger proportion of the population than younger ones. Consequences include a shrinking workforce, increased demand for elderly care services, and a shift in market demand reflecting older consumers' preferences. This inversion challenges traditional economic models reliant on a youthful, productive workforce and necessitates adjustments in social services, healthcare, and pension systems to accommodate an older demographic.

2. Rising Average Age of the Working Population: As the workforce ages, there is a pronounced impact on innovation, productivity, and the capacity to lead in industries critical to future economic prosperity. Older workers bring experience and knowledge; however, sectors driven by innovation may face challenges in maintaining dynamism and competitiveness. This shift places pressure on education and training systems to foster lifelong learning and skill adaptation, ensuring that the ageing workforce can engage with emerging industries and technologies.

3. Increase in the Average Age of the Elderly (Retirement Age Population): This group, already retired, will see a significant increase in its average age, exerting pressure on pension systems designed in times of more favorable demographic balances. With longer life expectancies, the duration of pension and healthcare benefits extends, challenging the financial sustainability of these systems. Governments and policymakers must explore reforms to pension schemes, healthcare financing, and elderly care services to ensure they remain viable and effective for a longer-lived population.

4. Growth in the Very Old Population (Over 90s and Centenarians): The remarkable increase in individuals living beyond 90 years and reaching centenarian status underscores advancements in healthcare and living standards but also highlights the need for specialized geriatric care and support services. This demographic requires more intensive healthcare resources, from chronic disease management to palliative care, and presents logistical challenges in terms of caregiving, housing, and social support networks.

A Deep Dive on Portugal

The population pyramid for Portugal in the year 2100 presents a striking picture of the demographic changes outlined in the "Quadruple Ageing Dynamics."

The pyramid, now more of a pillar, shows a substantial increase in the proportion of the population within the older age brackets. Particularly noteworthy is the expansion of the segments representing those over the age of 75, which are visibly thicker than those of the younger age groups. This suggests that the average age of the population has significantly increased, with a pronounced bulge in the cohorts of older citizens.

The pyramid shape, traditionally broad at the base and narrow at the top, has inverted. The wider upper portion indicates a sizeable population of elderly individuals, including a marked increase in those over 90 and centenarians, as shown by the thickest layers at the pyramid's summit. This reflects remarkable advancements in healthcare and longevity, leading to a new demographic reality where the very old make up a considerable segment of society.The implications of this demographic structure are profound.

The shrinking base—indicating fewer children and young adults—highlights concerns over a potential decline in the working-age population and consequent challenges for economic growth and workforce sustainability.

The broadening top reflects the increased demand for health care services, age-related support, and pension funding, underscoring the need for substantial adaptations in social and economic policies to maintain a balanced and functional society.

In essence, the Portugal population pyramid for 2100 serves as a clear indicator of the transformative effects of ageing dynamics on society. It calls for preemptive action in reshaping healthcare, pension systems, and workforce strategies to ensure that the needs of an ageing population can be met without compromising the vitality and sustainability of the country's social and economic structures.

What is ORION

ORION offers a suite of Strategic Foresight and Intelligence databases and services, merging structured and curated data with the power of Generative AI (ORION.AI) to offer the capability to identify, categorize and make sense of a multitude of driving forces, insights and signals of change and use these as accelerators of future-oriented strategies and transformation journeys.

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