The ageing of populations in Belgium: Current situation and perspectives
For many decades now, population ageing is observed in every Western countries, as the result of the demographic transition. This article focuses on these issues through the particular lens of the demographer. The first section is focused on the evolution of ageing since 1970, situating Belgium in its wider context as a European nation and analysing spatial differences within Belgium according to standard demo-graphic indicators. The increase in the population over 60 and especially over 80 comes along with a transformation in the population profile. In the second section we look at consequences of ageing in terms of health through an indicator that has now become standard, that of healthy life expectancy. With death taking place at ever older ages, the chance of experiencing health problems has also risen. If to-day’s health-care systems are vitally important in helping older people remain at home for longer, we have focused on the role of the family caregiver, a vital facet of health-care systems for the old. Finally, the third section is devoted to the socioec-onomic consequences of demographic ageing, especially in terms of the resilience of the social security system. Where possible, we draw comparisons with the situation in other European countries.
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