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With Reference To Specific Countries, Describe And Explain The Social And Economic Implications Of Top Heavy And Broad Based Population Structure

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"With reference to specific countries, describe and explain the social and economic implications of top heavy and broad based population structure"

Over the last few decades, population pyramids of countries have changed in shape staggeringly and rapidly. Broad base, narrow topped pyramids display evidence of high birth rates and high death rates, this usually occurs in less economically developed countries. Pyramids showing a roughly equal distribution throughout the age groups are more likely to be MEDCs; this type of structure would be at stage 4, which means that the birth and death rate is reasonably low. New Zealand, for example has this type of population pyramid.

Socially and economically, problems present itself when there are many elderly people in a country. New Zealand, in a few decades will possibly fully experience these types of problems, as you can see in the diagram, in the age group 25-29, there will be a large number of old people. As said earlier, New Zealand is a MEDC, which means that there is better health care, diet and lifestyle. The population's life expectancy is increasing. This will impact the society financially in a way that the taxes will have to be doubled in order to pension the old or just to keep them alive. The common retiring age is about 65 and in most countries, the government pays for the next 30-40 years of your life. The young and working population pay the taxes. This leaves us with a dependency ratio of 53.8. For every 100 people working there are 53.8 dependent on them. Assuming that the number of old people will be increasing over the years, taxes will also be expected to rise. Large numbers of additional births or settling migrants would be needed to maintain the dependency ratios of the current population.

An increase of institutions or care centres for the old means that more young, able people are needed to provide these services. This will be much time consumption. If most of the country's population is old and ageing then the government has a duty to cater to the needs of their people. More leisure facilities will have to be opened, places where old people will be safe and comfortable, also technology for the old is necessary. Things like wheelchairs, scooters, health monitors etc. A lot of thinking will have to be put in for the future of a growing ageing population. These things would be very costly.

Large numbers of ageing population leads to social disasters, such as loneliness and change in mood. This affects ones life deeply. Many old males and females will have nothing to do at home, since they are very unable to move around much as they would when they were younger. Most spouses of the old have passed away and they remain lonely. Their children would be busy working and have no time to spend with you. For some, living this life would equal suffering and would rather die. The Guardian Weekly newspaper tells us about a grandfather in Italy that offered himself for adoption. Italy also has an increasing ageing population. His wife died and his daughter moved abroad, leaving him alone. Old people will be so desperate to find a social life that they will advertise adoption of themselves to the public.

A country with a broad based pyramid structure is Pakistan. The picture below shows the population pyramid of Pakistan in the year 2000.

Pakistan has a very high death rate and birth rate. This is a LEDC. There is a high proportion of dependent population to working population. Therefore, standards of living are low. Bad health care and sanitation leads to infant mortality which then ignites the wish of a mother to have more children after the death of one. Pakistan's mortality rate has dropped from 27 to 12 per 1,000 by the 1990s and each

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