Abstract. The more developed regions of the world are expected to face dramatic demographic changes in the coming decades. A sharp fall in fertility and a steady rise in life expectancy will shift the age profile of societies in the 21st century altering radically their economic and social life. Ageing populations present serious challenges of labour scarcity, deceleration in long-term economic growth, equity markets volatility, unprecedented burden on pensions and medical care systems, increasing of poverty and social inequality, etc. At the same time, the increase in healthy life expectancy, the modification of elderly peoples’ image and their role in a society bring (at least potentially) certain assets – the so-called longevity dividend. It contributes, on the one hand, to prolongation of working life and retaining of valuable productive staff in the work force, and, on the other hand, to creation of a solid and rapidly expanding demand for special goods and services designed for older people. Such changes in labour resources supply and in consumer models open a new chapter in the global North countries development, associated with formation of an emerging longevity society and promotion of a “silver economy”. Given the bleak prospects of unhealthy and passive ageing and promising opportunities of healthy and active longevity, these societies are to develop an adequate and effective policy response to these changes. Such approach should include short-term preventive and damping measures, as well as long-term strategy of package creative and responsible actions which could prepare the society and its economy for future large-scale changes.
Keywords: population ageing, demographic challenges, labour resources, social welfare, healthy and active longevity, “longevity divident”, “silver economy”
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