Demography: Live Long and Prosper?

Science  05 Jul 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5271, pp. 42
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5271.42


There 's no doubt that populations in the United States and elsewhere in the developed world are growing older, threatening to overwhelm government-supported benefits programs. But demographers differ sharply on just how big the challenge will be. They cite major uncertainties about how fast the over-65 age group will grow, as well as about whether increased life-spans will be accompanied by prolonged health or simply more years of disability and decline. There are also uncertainties about whether families will be able to take up the slack and support their elderly members if government pension and health benefit programs have to be scaled back.

More information about many aspects of aging can be accessed at the following Web sites:http://www.psc.lsa.umich.edu/aging/others.html; http://www.dml.georgetown.edu/places/ger.html) and http://www.nih.gov/nia.