The global phenomenon of population ageing, is having and will have, major impactions on all aspects of human life in every society. This process is irreversible and, enduring as observed from differing patterns and distinct paces in various regions and countries worldwide. The economies and demographic composition of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) countries before the mid-nineteen hundreds, tended towards one of high-fertility and low-productivity respectively. During this period, marked increases in average income was accompanied with proportionate increases in population growth. This trend generally remained constant for the remainder of nineteenth and early twentieth century. Today in the early twenty-first century, substantial structural changes in the demographic composition of LAC countries, have resulted in a transition from high to low levels of mortality and fertility. This phenomenon was aptly described by Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General World Health Organization at the Second World Assembly on Ageing Madrid 9 April 2002, when she stated, “While developed countries grew affluent before they became old, developing countries are growing old before they get affluent.” This paper analyses the effects of the demographic transition of low fertility, mortality rates, and net migration on population ageing in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, using the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. It also seeks to review this Caribbean nation's strategies to combat the negative effects of population ageing by applying Erik Erikson’s theory of the stages of psychosocial development.
Since the 1950's, the world's elderly population has been steadily increasing according to United Nations figures. The global population of persons 60 years of age and over has, risen from 8% in 1950 to 11% in 2009; with the projected figure of 22% by the year 2050 (Rouse, Ramkissoon and Ramdoo, 2010, p. 2). Additionally, future projections suggest the by the year 2050, a third of the population of Trinidad and Tobago's will be comprise of persons over 60 years of age (ECLAC, 2004, p. 7). Currently in LAC countries, there is a ratio of 10 persons aged 15–64 to every person aged 65 years and older. This ratio is expected to decrease drastically to an average of 3 persons between the ages of 15–64 years old, to every person aged 65 years by the year 2050 (Rouse, Ramkissoon and Ramdoo, 2010, p. 3). Additionally, the ratio of persons age 65 years or older relative to the total population rose from 5.6% in 1980 to 9.0% in 2011 (Central Statistical Office 2011, p. 12). Moreover, If all the suggested estimates occur as expected, this would impact negatively on this country's ability to attain sustainable development. Thus, arising out of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, LAC governments were given a mandate to implement social and economic strategies in-order to mitigate the potentially crippling effects of an ageing population on their future economies. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago in the year 2000, proposed a national policy on ageing. Its stated goal is “to ensure the sustainable well-being of the population of older persons in Trinidad and Tobago, by facilitating the attainment of their basic human needs, that those in need are assisted, and that older persons are treated as an important resource rather than a burden to society” (National Policy on Ageing for Trinidad and Tobago 2007, 12).
A SWOT analysis is a methodology of assessment of attributes and state, which identifies the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats of an entity in a logical and coherent order. Hence, the following is a SWOT analysis of the demographic transition of low fertility, mortality rates, and net migration on population ageing in the nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Summary of SWOT analysis of a demographic transition on population ageing...
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