Population Aging: An Emerging Research Agenda for Sustainable Development
In recent years, population aging has been recognized as an emerging challenge in many parts of the world. Earlier studies discussed its impacts on the sustainability of social security systems and national economic growth; however, they tended to focus on the issues at the national level and were limited to developed countries. With the knowledge that population aging will be a predominant trend in both developed and developing countries, this paper aims to: (i) describe the global population aging trend and its regional demography; (ii) provide a structural review of population aging challenges at the national, communal and individual levels; and (iii) elaborate future research topics on population aging with a particular emphasis on developing countries. Several indicators suggest rapid population aging in the coming decades, especially in Asia, Latin America and Africa. The structural review presents the diverse challenges that affect both young and older population groups. Finally, the need for linking population aging with the sustainable development concept and the possible rural decline caused by rapid urbanization are suggested as future research topics. Further studies to establish a body of knowledge on population aging in developing countries are required to place population aging on the agenda of future sustainable development discussions.
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