Healthy Ageing: Challenges and Opportunities of Demographic and Societal Transitions

  • Erik Buskens
  • Tobias C. Vogt
  • Aart C. Liefbroer
  • Menno S. A. Reijneveld
  • Ute Bultmann
  • Kène C. J. I. M. Henkens
  • J. Han de Ruiter
  • Sophia E. J. A. de Rooij


The demographic situation in Europe is changing rapidly. Humans are getting older, and the proportion of older people is rising, also because the birth rates have fallen. Demographic changes are seen as a fundamental challenge for our welfare and economies. Societies have to embrace various policy options to improve healthy ageing and to help people to stay healthy and active in old age. Between European countries and in different regions, health status and life expectancy vary considerably. Inequalities in income, education, housing, employment and access to health and social care facilities affect population’s health directly and indirectly. This chapter gives a short overview of the demographic trends and the consequences for societies in Europe. It describes a life course perspective on healthy ageing, starting with children and adolescents, tomorrow’s workforce and the changing retirement context. The number of people requiring informal care will increase and therefore is considered at meso, macro and micro level. We end this chapter with an overview of the consequences of the demographic changes for the health and social care systems.


Demographic change Ageing societies Healthy ageing Life course perspective 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik Buskens
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tobias C. Vogt
    • 3
  • Aart C. Liefbroer
    • 4
    • 5
  • Menno S. A. Reijneveld
    • 6
  • Ute Bultmann
    • 7
  • Kène C. J. I. M. Henkens
    • 6
    • 8
  • J. Han de Ruiter
    • 9
  • Sophia E. J. A. de Rooij
    • 10
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Operations Management and Operations Research, Faculty of Economics and BusinessUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Demography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, Population Research CentreUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.University Medical Center Groningen, Univerity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Demography of Young Adults and Intergenerational Transmission at the Faculty of Social SciencesVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Department of Health Sciences, University Medical Center GroningenUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  7. 7.Department of Health Sciences, Community and Occupational Medicine, University Medical Center GroningenUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  8. 8.Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)The HagueThe Netherlands
  9. 9.Center of Expertise Healthy Ageing, Hanze University of Applied Sciences GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  10. 10.University Center of Geriatric Medicine, University Medical Center GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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