Give and Take Across Generations: How Changing Age Structure Can Lead to Economic Growth

The link between demographics and the economy is complex. “Give and Take Across Generations: How Changing Age Structure Can Lead to Economic Growth” presents a straightforward explanation of one facet of this important connection, by showing how lower fertility rates can benefit a nation’s economy.

We walk through an analysis that combines age-specific income and consumption patterns with population age structure, using data from the National Transfer Accounts (NTA) project. Thailand and Ethiopia serve as examples to illustrate how changing age structure can impact total income and consumption levels. This analysis shows that Ethiopia’s future age structure could create expendable income, a driver of economic growth and improved quality of life.

In this video, data for per capita income and consumption come from calculations completed by the NTA project. Income is defined as all compensation for work effort, including income, benefits, and certain government taxes. Consumption is the value of goods and services that meet an individual’s needs; this includes basic needs such as food and shelter as well as needs for services such as healthcare and education. A key assumption is that per capita income and consumption will stay the same for the future projected population scenarios.


L’évolution de la structure par âge de la population

Changing Population Age Structure: A PRB ENGAGE Snapshot (French)

  • Télécharger le ‹‹ instantané ENGAGE›› (MP4: 24MB)

(août 2013) Les changements dans la structure d’âge de la population d’un pays peuvent être significatifs pour la croissance économique. Avec les exemples de Thaïlande et Rwanda, cet PRB ‹‹ instantané ENGAGE›› illustre les changements de la structure d’âge de la population utilisant des pyramides des âges. Cette vidéo s’adresse les trois investissements essentiels qu’un gouvernement puisse faire pour encourager les changements dans la structure d’âge de la population qui sont nécessaire pour un dividende démographique.

On peut voir cette courte vidéo en ligne ou télécharger pour une utilisation future. La vidéo peut être intégré dans PowerPoint et les autres présentations ou utilisé de façon indépendante comme un outil éducatif.


HIV/AIDS and Older Persons in Developing Countries

(November 2009) Despite the extensive research done on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, there have been relatively few studies on the impact of HIV/AIDS on older persons in developing countries. While some older persons are at risk or infected, a much larger number are affected through the illness or death of their adult sons and daughters and other family members. Increasing availability and access to antiretroviral therapy is influencing both the consequences for and contributions of older persons. In places where access is widespread, the burden of personal caregiving for older persons to HIV-infected adult sons and daughters is substantially reduced while the potential for older aged parents to provide important treatment support to their adult children is greatly enhanced.

John Knodel has studied the involvement of older people in the HIV/AIDS epidemic, specifically in Southeast Asia. He is Research Professor Emeritus at the Population Studies Center and Professor Emeritus, Sociology at the University of Michigan. His research focuses not only on the consequences of HIV/AIDS on older persons, but also their contributions to helping their family members and communities cope with the disease. In this interview, Knodel discusses the importance of looking at HIV/AIDS effects on older persons, research findings from Cambodia and Thailand, and the research still needed to understand how HIV/AIDS involves the elderly and what policy responses are needed, particularly in light of increased access to antiretrovirals.

Eric Zuehlke is an editor at the Population Reference Bureau.