Edited by Robin Hickman, Moshe Givoni, David Bonilla and David Banister
Chapter 36: Old age and importance of the car in maintaining activity patterns in Scandinavia
Ageing of the population is occurring in many countries. In Europe the ‘old-age dependency ratio’ (people aged over 65 as a percentage of the population aged 20–64 years) will double in the period 2000 and 2050 according to Eurostat projections (Eurostat, 2008). In the Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway and Sweden), the proportion of people aged 651 is expected to be about 25 per cent by 2050 (Eurostat, 2008). It is likely that this population will be a heterogeneous group regarding both age and other characteristics (Brunborg and Texmon, 2009). Previous research has indicated a positive relationship between mobility measured as trip-making, out-of-home activities, access to transport and indicators of well-being and quality of life (e.g., Banister and Bowling, 2004; Mollenkopf et al., 2005; Spinney et al., 2009). For society in general, it is likely that the travel demand of the older population will have an impact on the entire transport system, i.e., in shaping the way transportation is planned, organized and managed. In Norway, about 95 per cent of the age group 35–55 years held a driving licence in 2009 (Vagane et al., 2011). In Denmark and Sweden, the proportion was a little lower, but the tendency was the same (SIKA, 2006; Kjar, 2005).
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