Newswise — Conventional measures of population aging are “biased and misleading” because they are only based on one factor, chronological age, assert Warren Sanderson, a Professor of Economics at Stony Brook University, and Sergei Scherbov, a project leader at an Austrian research institute. Rather, they present in a new study four different measurements – economic dependency ratio, healthcare cost dependency ratio, pension dependency ratio, and prospective dependency ratio – that offer a more dynamic and effective determination of aging. Their findings are being published in the journal Population and Development Review, today, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2016. “21st Century will be known as the era of aging,” declares Sanderson. “We should start discussing it using 21st Century tools -- not using the antiquated ‘old age’ dependency ratio (defining people as becoming old age dependents when they reach age 65) but rather those that fully account for the expected number of years people have left to live. Aging is not one static number; it is a multidimensional phenomena." He and Scherbov explain these four new tools: 1.Economic Dependency Ratio: This ratio doesn't assume that everyone at the age of 65 retires. It also doesn't assume that anyone younger than 65 is working. It determined that people are working past 65 years old; therefore, changing their economic status. The old age ration assumes everyone at 65 retires. 2. Healthcare Cost Dependency Ratio: This ratio determined that healthcare costs sky rocket during the last few years of your life. The old age dependency ratio suggested that healthcare increased at 65 - because that's the assumed retirement age. 3. Pension Dependency Ratio. The assumption is that people get public pensions at 65; however, this is not the case. In most wealthy countries, normal public pensions are rising. A number of countries, such as Sweden, Norway and Italy, have pension payouts linked to life expectancy. 4. Prospective Dependency Ratio: This suggests that we should be looking at how many birthdays the person will have, rather than how many the person has had. People are assumed to become old age dependent at 65 but that is not the case as life expectancy is rising. Given that the number of people over age 65 is expected to sharply increase over the next decade, Dr. Sanderson’s views take on great relevancy and, therefore, would be of interest to your audience. To this end, I would welcome the opportunity to have you speak with Dr. Sanderson to learn more about his findings. I would also be happy to provide you with a copy of his journal paper.
MEDIA CONTACTRegister for reporter access to contact details
Population and Development Review