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Demographic change


Demographic change describes a population’s age structure adjusting to changes in living conditions. Consequently, changes in the composition of a society’s age structure are the result of social shifts. 1)


The population pyramids of the EU show that the first two decades after the Second World War had especially high birth rates. Since the 1970s, demographers have observed negative trends in the population structure in Europe. The lower birth rates in the recent past and present come with increasing life expectancy for Europeans. Ongoing low birth rates lead to an ageing of societies if mortality rates remain low.
Consequently, half of the population growth between 2005 and 2050 in Europe will be due not to births, but rather the fact that increasingly more people are living longer and longer. Furthermore, the “baby boomer” generation of the post-war period is now passing the threshold to retirement and highlights the turning point in the demographic development. If one speaks today of the challenge of or the adjustment to “demographic change,” then this usually means the challenges or adjustments that come with an ageing society.“
Source: Demographic change in Europe - An Overview. Working paper no. 4 of the Observatory for Sociopolitical Developments in Europe

Policy responses to demographic change

The EU identifies five key policy responses to manage demographic change:

  • supporting demographic renewal through better conditions for families and improved reconciliation of working and family life
  • boosting employment – more jobs and longer working lives of better quality
  • raising productivity and economic performance through investing in education and research
  • receiving and integrating migrants into Europe
  • ensuring sustainable public finances to guarantee adequate pensions, health care and long-term care.

Source: COMMISSION COMMUNICATION The demographic future of Europe – from challenge to opportunity COM/2006/0571 final


“The movement of a person or a group of persons, either across an international border, or within a State. It is a population movement, encompassing any kind of movement of people, whatever its length, composition and causes; it includes migration of refugees, displaced persons, economic migrants, and persons moving for other purposes, including family reunification.”
International Organization for Migration. Glossary on Migration
European Migration Network Glossary & Thesaurus


See also

Cf. theory of first and second demographic transition: The first transition describing the positive effects of hygiene and sanitary conditions on birth rates and life expectancy, the second describing the dip in birth rates as a result of sociocultural changes in the second half of the 20th century
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wiki/demographic_change_migration.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/09 08:56 by apolderman