The European Year of Active Ageing

Britain comes in second in the list of countries with the highest working population above the age of 60. It has 44% of the population still working beyond the 60 mark, while Sweden is 1st with an amazing 61% of them still employed. The 44% is an increase of almost 8% over the last decade. The same number decreases by 8.5% if people of age 65 or above are considered.

These numbers are part of EU backed European Year’s “eurobarometer” opinion survey that includes all countries part of the EU. More than 60% of the population believes that people should be allowed work beyond the retirement age. The 70% of the population concede that Europe’s population is getting older, however only 42% were worried about the development.

The “eurobarometer” covers areas such as overall perceptions of older people, old people in the work-force and their view of retirement and pension, support for old people. The European year was started in the year 1983 to raise awareness and deal with problems of the aged.

The most interesting part of the survey is the definition of old and young across different countries. People in Malta, Portugal and Sweden consider people below age 37 to be young, where as the young tag can be carried till the age of 50 in countries like Greece and Cyprus. The sense of age is perceived differently by men and women, men consider the age of 62.7 to be old and women, 65.0. One common agreement across countries is the belief that the retirement and pension ages will be raised.

At least 25% of Europe’s population is said to be engaged in social or voluntary work. 15% of the people who took the survey, over the age of 55 took care of an older family member and 42% of them have also done so in the past.

The EU for the year 2012 is promoting active ageing and calling for people of all generations to recognize the older generation’s contribution to society and asking them to be taken care of. The European year includes three aspects of active ageing, which include Active ageing in employment, Participation in society and Independent living.

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