IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Will Population Ageing Necessarily Lead to an Increase in the Number of Persons with Disabilities?


  • Sergei Scherbov
  • Wolfgang Lutz


There is a widespread expectation that the combination of significant population ageing in Europe over the coming decades, along with the fact that the elderly are more likely to have disabilities, will result in a large increase in the total prevalence of disability and the need for significantly expanded care facilities for the elderly. Recent evidence from the U.S., however, suggests that disability rates of the elderly are declining and that further declines could be expected in the future. In this paper we present alternative demographic scenarios for the European Union (EU-15) that distinguish between people with and without disabilities by age and sex. The results show that under the assumption of a constant age-specific disability profile, we indeed expect a significant increase in the total number of people with disabilities due to population ageing. However, if the age profile of disability is shifted to the right (i.e., to higher ages) by one, two, or three years per decade, the scenarios show a much lower or no increase in the number of persons with disabilities in Europe over the coming decades.

Suggested Citation

  • Sergei Scherbov & Wolfgang Lutz, 2005. "Will Population Ageing Necessarily Lead to an Increase in the Number of Persons with Disabilities?," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 3(1), pages 219-234.
  • Handle: RePEc:vid:yearbk:v:3:y:2005:i:1:p:219-234

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gert G. Wagner & Ellen Kirner & Johannes Leinert & Volker Meinhardt, 1998. "Kapitaldeckung: Kein Wundermittel für die Altersvorsorge," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 65(46), pages 833-840.
    2. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2004. "Aging and Housing Equity: Another Look," NBER Chapters,in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 127-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. de Mooij, Ruud A & Ederveen, Sjef, 2003. "Taxation and Foreign Direct Investment: A Synthesis of Empirical Research," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(6), pages 673-693, November.
    4. Jonathan Gruber & David Wise, 2001. "An International Perspective on Policies for an Aging Society," NBER Working Papers 8103, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 1999. "Population Aging and Its Economic Costs: A Survey of the Issues and Evidence," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 1, McMaster University.
    6. Thai-Thanh Dang & Pablo Antolín & Howard Oxley, 2001. "Fiscal Implications of Ageing: Projections of Age-Related Spending," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 305, OECD Publishing.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:vid:yearbk:v:3:y:2005:i:1:p:219-234. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Frank Kolesnik). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.