International Encyclopedia of Civil Society

2010 Edition
| Editors: Helmut K. Anheier, Stefan Toepler

Civil Society and the Elderly

  • Jürgen Kocka
  • Kai Brauer
Reference work entry


Due to an increasing life expectancy and low birth rates the share of the elderly of the population is increasing in many countries. In Germany, the share of those aged 60 or older amounted to 14.6% in 1950 and 23.6% in 2000, and is estimated to be around 40% in 2050 (StBA, 2006). The equivalent values for the same years in the United States are 12% (1950) to 16% (2000) and 27% in 2050, while in Europe they are 12% (1950) to 20% (2000) and 35% in 2050. The worldwide share of persons over 60 has grown from 8% in 1950 to 10% in 2000 and will more than double to 21.5% by 2050 (UN, 2006). The share of the elderly who are (no longer) part of the labor force has been increasing in many countries in the past decades, especially where social security systems make possible the transition to retirement without impoverishment. As an average of all OECD countries the labor force participation rate of 55–64-year-olds was only 54.2% in 2006 – with big differences in rates between...

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References/Further Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürgen Kocka
    • 1
  • Kai Brauer
    • 1
  1. 1.Social Science Research CenterBerlinGermany