01 Dec 2003

Bio-Demographic Aspects of Population Ageing

Namkee Ahn / Ricard Genova / José A. Herce / Joaquin Pereira

Download Publication


Ageing affects individuals and nations everywhere. But a precise definition of what ageing is cannot be provided easily with regard to health aspects, social conventions and lifestyles that are intertwined with the ageing process. As a first step, the ENEPRI AGIR project has attempted to describe this process in EU countries by observing as many dimensions as possible related to it. This summarises and compares the demographic experience of ten EU countries since the mid-20th century on the basis of the detailed data gathered within the project. With regard to demography, the report focusses on population dynamics as defined by births and mortalities. It also deals in more detail with survival and longevity, as experienced in Europe in the last half century, to ascertain whether an increase in the absolute limit to human life or, rather, the fact that more and more people reach extreme ages is what drives the current population ageing process. Two other phenomena receive attention in the report: the fact that typical life-courses in Western countries are witnessing seemingly contradictory developments concerning, for instance, life duration and early retirement or other lifecycle landmarks; and the issue of how healthy or disability-free people live the extra years as life expectancy increases. The report is organised into sections on demography, life-courses and morbidity. A final section tries to tentatively answer three relevant questions raised by merely putting together part of the data collected from separate sources: What does living longer mean? Is living longer and working less mutually compatible? Does living longer mean living better? It turns out, ironically, that how define ageing is defined depends on the answers given to these questions.

Related Publications

Browse through the list of related publications.

Unleashing retail investors’ potential

The key ingredient for enhancing the EU's investment funds and capital markets

EU Accession Prospects of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia

First responses to the conditions set by the European Commission

One year of war in Ukraine

Understanding what has happened and what needs to happen next

Scenarios for the Eurozone

A realistic perspective between hopes and fears

Gendered migrant integration policies in the EU

Are we moving towards delivery of equality, non-discrimination and inclusion?

Europe after the War

Financial Cooperation for Pan-European, Euro-Mediterranean and EU-African Integration

What’s in a name?

Getting the definition of Artificial Intelligence right in the EU’s AI Act