Old-Age Healthy Dependency Ratio in Europe

Magdalena Muszynska, Duke University
Yeonjoo Yi, Duke University
Roland Rau, University of Rostock

We discuss the prevalence of morbidity among the elderly in Europe in 1995-2001 and propose a state-of-health specific (additive) decomposition of the old-age dependency ratio into the old-age unhealthy dependency ratio and old-age healthy dependency ratio to discuss the weight of morbidity at older ages on the working-age population. About 50% of the population at age 65 and older in Europe lives without chronic physical or mental health problem, illness or disability. In most of the countries the value of the old-age healthy dependency ratio is higher than the corresponding figure for the unhealthy dependency ratio. As the number of people aged 65+ in good health is larger than the number of retired people in bad health, the burden on the people at working ages to finance social security systems could be relaxed if those elderly who are still in good health remained in the labor force for longer periods.

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Presented in Session 17: Health and Dependency at Older Ages