Volume 16 - Article 2 | Pages 27-58

A new perspective on population aging

By Warren C. Sanderson, Sergei Scherbov

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Date received:02 Aug 2006
Date published:16 Jan 2007
Word count:6765
Keywords:age/aging, historical demography, life expectancy, median age, population forecasting, prospective age
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2007.16.2
 

Abstract

In Sanderson and Scherbov (2005) we introduced a new forward-looking definition of age and argued that its use, along with the traditional backward-looking concept of age, provides a more informative basis upon which to discuss population aging. Age is a measure of how many years a person has already lived. In contrast, our new approach to measuring age is concerned about the future.
In this paper, we first explore our new age measure in detail and show, using an analytic formulation, historical data, and forecasts, that it is, in most cases, insensitive to whether it is measured using period or cohort life tables. We, then, show, using new forward-looking definitions of median age and the old age dependency ratio, how combining the traditional age concept and our new one enhances our understanding of population aging.

Author's Affiliation

Warren C. Sanderson - State University of New York, Stony Brook, United States of America [Email]
Sergei Scherbov - Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria [Email]

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