Strategies for Improving Performance
Edited by Peter Karl Kresl and Daniele Ietri
Chapter 15: An aging population as a benefit to Italian cities
The demographic changes that industrialized countries will face in the upcoming years will have a significant impact on their economies. The crucial indicator is the old age dependency ratio, which is expected to grow until 2030 in Australia, Norway and in the USA up to a retired person per 2.5 workers; in Canada, the Netherlands and in the UK 1:2; in the rest of Europe the ratio will be on average 1 worker per 1.5 retired person and in Italy it is expected to be 1:1 (OECD, 2000; Eurostat, 2008). In Western Europe the share of population 65 and older will grow from 16.3 per cent to 25.1 per cent (27.5 per cent in Italy) and in the European Union the active population (aged between 15 and 64) will diminish by 1 million people per year. The burden on the pension and welfare system will be a major problem and is described as a “ticking time bomb” for many national economies. There will be differences among countries according to the distribution of expenses and mandates at the different levels of government (national, regional, local, and so on), for the health care and the pension systems in particular. As to the focus of this contribution, at the urban scale the impact will also be evident, with a growing demand for housing, security, transportation and services adequate for an aging population.
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