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Population Ageing in Italy and Southern Europe

  • Cecilia Tomassini
  • Giovanni Lamura
Part of the International Handbooks of Population book series (IHOP, volume 1)

International research on population ageing up to the 1970s focused mainly on selected countries in Western and Northern Europe. One of the main reasons behind the limited interest in Southern Europe was the low number and proportion of aged people in the area. In 1951 the proportion of people aged 65 and over was around 12 per cent in the UK and 10 per cent in Sweden compared with only 8 per cent in Italy, Portugal and Spain and 7 per cent in Greece. However, the demographic trends behind population ageing have been so rapid and so remarkable in Southern Europe that nowadays, this region together with Japan is among the “oldest” areas of the world. The rapid and intense decline in fertility jointly with impressive achievements in extending survival, especially at older ages, have contributed to making Italy and Spain (and to a lesser extent Greece and Portugal) the countries with the highest proportion of older people, highest median age of population and highest ageing index. The challenges of this rapid population ageing are therefore unique in Southern Europe and they require a detailed analysis of the demographic and socio-economic structures, together with the understanding of the cultural context of the countries belonging to this area.

Keywords

Social Care Residential Care Home Care Service Southern European Country European Community Household Panel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cecilia Tomassini
    • 1
  • Giovanni Lamura
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SEGES Faculty of Economics 2 Ed. PolifunzionaleUniversity of MoliseCampobassoItaly
  2. 2.INRCA, Dept. of Gerontological ResearchAnconaItaly

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