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更新時間:2019/5/11 9:24:51 來源:紐約時報中文網 作者:佚名

Why the world now has more grandparents than grandchildren
人口研究︰老人比幼童多 我們該怎麼辦?

For the first time in history, there are more elderly people in the world than young children, according to the United Nations.

聯合國的數據顯示,世界上的老年人口已經超過幼童,這在歷史上尚屬首次。

Their figures show that the number of over-65s surpassed that of under-fives at the end of 2018.

數據表明,2018年底,65歲以上人口超過了5歲以下的。

There are now around 705 million people over-65 on the planet, while those aged 0-4 number about 680 million.

如今全球65歲以上的人口大約有7.05億,而0到4歲的大約有6.80億。

Widening gap

差距越來越大

Current trends point to a growing disparity between the oldest and the youngest by 2050 there will be more than two over-65s for each person aged 0-4.

依照目前的趨勢,最年長和最年幼兩組人口之間的差距直到2050年都會不斷增加——屆時,65歲以上人口的數量將是0到4歲人口的二倍還要多。

This widening gap symbolises a trend that demographers have been tracking for decades: in most countries we are all living longer and not making enough babies.

逐漸擴大的差距體現了人口統計學家們追蹤了幾十年的一個趨勢,即在大多數國家,人的壽命正在增加,而新生兒數量卻不足。

But how will this affect you? Could it already be doing so?

但這對你有什麼影響?會不會已經產生了影響?

Not enough ‘arrivals’

新生兒數量不足

Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, says: "There will be very few children and lots of people over the age of 65 and that makes it very difficult to sustain global society."

穆雷(Christopher Murray)是華盛頓大學美高梅官方网站指標與度量研究院的院長,他表示︰“兒童數量將很少,65歲以上的人口會很多,全球社會將難以維系。”

Murray is also the author of a 2018 paper in which he suggested that almost half of all countries in the world are facing a “baby bust” meaning that there are insufficient children there to maintain population size.

穆雷2018年還寫了一篇論文,並在文中表示,世界上幾乎有半數國家正在經歷“生育低谷”,兒童數量不足以維持人口規模。

“Think of all the profound social and economic consequences for a society with more grandparents than grandchildren,” he adds.

“想一想社會中祖輩比孫輩多所造成的嚴重社會美高梅官方开户影響,”他補充說。

In 1960, the world's fertility rate was almost five children per woman, according to the World Bank.

世界銀行的數據顯示, 1960年全世界的生育率為每名女性生育將近5個孩子。

Almost 60 years later it has halved to only 2.4.

不到60年,這一數字減半到2.4個而已。

At the same time, socio-economic advances have benefited those who come into this world. In 1960 people lived on average a little over 52 years; the current life expectancy reached 72 years in 2017.

與此同時,社會美高梅官方开户的進步讓出生的孩子們受益。 1960年,人的平均壽命只有52歲多一點,2017年則達到了72歲。

That means we are all living longer and demanding more and more resources as we get older, increasing pressure in areas such as pensions and health systems.

這意味著人們活得越來越久,並且隨著年齡增長,所需的資源也越來越多,給養老金和醫療體系等方面增加了壓力。

Elderly populations

老年人口

The ageing population problem is sharper in developed countries. They tend to have lower birth rates for a number of reasons mostly linked to economic affluence child mortality rates are lower, birth control is easily accessible and raising children can be relatively expensive.

人口老齡化問題在發達國家更為突出。這些國家的出生率往往更低,原因有很多,最主要在于美高梅官方开户富足,因此兒童死亡率更低,易于采取節育措施,而撫養孩子的花費則相對較高。

In those nations, women often have children later in life, and so have fewer children.

發達國家的女性往往晚育,因此生育孩子的數量也少。

Better standards of life mean people “last longer” in these countries. A prime example is Japan, where life expectancy at birth is nearly 84 years (the world's highest national rate) and where the over-65s amounted to 27% of the total population in 2018 also the most in the world.

發達國家更高的生活水準意味著人們活得也更久,日本就是最好的例子。在日本,人們出生時的預期壽命將近84歲,是世界上國民預期壽命最久的,2018年65歲以上的人口佔到總人口的27%,比例也是全球最高的。

Its under-five population share? Around 3.85%, according to the UN.

日本5歲以下的人口佔多少呢?聯合國的數據是大約3.85%。

This double challenge has been worrying Japanese authorities for decades, and last year the government announced a compulsory rise in the retirement age from 65 to 70 years.

這兩重挑戰已經困擾了日本當局數十年,就在去年,政府宣布強制將退休年齡從65歲上調到70歲。

If and when implemented, workers in Japan are set to retire later than anywhere else in the world.

這一政策實施之時——如果實施的話,日本勞動者將成為世界上退休最晚的人。

But imbalanced populations are also threatening developing countries. China has a much lower share of over-65s (10.6% of the population) than Japan, but thanks to the strict birth-planning programmes enforced since the 1970s, the world's second biggest economy also has a comparatively low fertility rate 1.6 births per woman.

但人口不均衡也同樣威脅著發展中國家。中國65歲以上人口的比例比日本低得多(為10.6%),但由于自1970年代開始執行嚴格的計劃生育政策,這一世界第二大美高梅官方开户體的出生率同樣較低——每位女性僅生育1.6個小孩。

Under-fives in mainland China are now less than 6% of the total population.

中國大陸5歲以下的人口數量如今不超過總人口的6%。

Quantity of children versus quality of life

兒童數量 VS 生活質量

African countries dominate the rankings for high fertility.

生育率高的都是非洲國家。

Niger, for instance, is the world's “most fertile country”, with 7.2 births per woman in 2017.

例如,尼日爾(Niger)是世界上生育率最高的國家,2017年每位女性平均生育了7.2個小孩。

However, the same nations have high child mortality Niger has a rate of 85 children per 1,000 live births, one of the highest in the world.

然而,非洲國家的兒童死亡率也很高——尼日爾每千名活著出生的新生兒中有85例死亡,位居全球最高之列。

Replacement rate

替代率

For population purposes, 2.1 is the magic number. It is the fertility rate that demographers say is necessary for populations to replace themselves.

對于人口來說,2.1是個神奇的數字。人口統計學家表示,2.1%是人口能夠自行更新換代所必需的生育率。

However, the most recent UN data shows that only a little over half of the world's countries procreate at that pace 113.

然而聯合國最新的數據表明,全世界生育率達到這一水平的國家只有113個——只佔全球半數多一點。

Researchers also point out that countries with higher child-mortality and lower life expectancy need a 2.3 fertility rate, a threshold currently reached by only 99 nations.

研究人員還指出,兒童死亡率較高和預期壽命較低的國家需要2.3%的出生率,而目前只有99個國家能達到。

Because of dwindling births, many countries are likely to see their populations shrink significantly, despite the overall global population increase we are expected to reach the eight billion mark by 2024.

盡管全球人口總數在增加,並有望在2024年底突破80億大關,但由于新生兒數量下降,許多國家的人口很可能會顯著減少。

One of the most extreme cases is Russia: the fertility rate of 1.75 child per woman is expected to contribute to a steep drop in the number of Russians in the next few decades.

最極端的一個例子是俄羅斯︰每位女性平均生育1.75個小孩,這一生育率會導致俄羅斯在未來幾十年人口顯著減少。

The UN Population Division has calculated that the Russian population will decline from the current 143 million people to 132 million by 2050.

聯合國人口司預測,俄羅斯人口將從目前的1.43億下降至2050年的1.32億。

Economic impact

美高梅官方开户影響

Declining and ageing populations mean fewer people in the workforce, which in turn can lead to a decrease in economic productivity, which consequently hampers growth.

人口下降以及老齡化會導致勞動人口減少,從而造成美高梅官方开户生產力下降,妨礙美高梅官方开户增長。

Last November the International Monetary Fund warned that Japan's economy could shrink by over 25% in the next 40 years due to the ageing population.

去年11月國際貨幣基金組織曾警告,由于人口老齡化,日本美高梅官方开户在未來40年將下滑超過25%。

“Demography impacts on every single aspect of our lives just look out of your window at the people on the streets, the houses, the traffic, the consumption. It is all driven by demography,” George Leeson, director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, told the BBC.

“人口統計學影響著我們生活的方方面面——看看窗外,看看街上的人、房屋、車輛和消費,統統受到影響,”牛津大學人口老齡化研究所的所長利森(George Leeson)向BBC表示。

Will technology help mitigate the economic effects of an ageing population?

科技能減輕人口老齡化帶來的美高梅官方开户影響嗎?

Policy and politics

政策與政治

There is consensus, though, that governments need to act in order to defuse this “ageing time-bomb”. And they have been trying to.

不過各方一致認為,政府需要采取行動來拆除老齡化這顆“定時炸彈”,政府也已經在努力了。

China reviewed its “one-child policy” in 2015 and in 2018 signalled an end to birth restrictions overall by next year. According to an op-ed in state-run newspaper The People's Daily, giving birth is “a family and national issue too”.

中國2015年重新研究了獨生子女政策,並在2018年表示將在下一年全面終止生育限制。中國官媒《人民日報》上的一篇專欄文章表示,生孩子“是家事也是國事”。

Easing the restrictions has hardly been a silver bullet, though: China recorded 15.2 million births in 2018, the lowest number in more than 60 years.

不過放開限制卻並沒有解決問題︰中國2018年的新生兒數量為1520萬,是60多年來最少的。

Chinese academics attributed the drop to a decline in the population of women of reproductive age, and to families putting off plans to have children for financial reasons, especially in families with more educated women reluctant to play the traditional role of main carer.

中國的學者認為,新生兒數量減少的原因在于育齡女性人口下降,此外一些家庭也因為美高梅官方开户原因推遲了生育計劃。當家庭中的女性受過較高澳门美高梅官方开户、不想擔當主要看護人這一傳統角色時,生育計劃更會推遲。

Older and stronger

活得更久,身體更好

Population experts warn that policies that promote elderly health need to play a crucial part in mitigating the effects of population ageing.

人口專家告誡我們,在減輕人口老齡化影響的過程中,改善長者美高梅官方网站狀況的政策應該發揮重要作用。

The argument is that healthier individuals are more able to continue working for longer and with more energy, which could result in lower healthcare costs.

他們認為,身體更美高梅官方网站就能工作更長年頭,精力也更充沛,能夠降低醫療成本。

One area that has been overlooked is a more diverse workforce, especially in terms of gender: data from the International Labour Organization (ILO) shows that the global labour market participation rate for women was 48.5% in 2018, more than 25% below that of men.

讓勞動力更加多元化的問題經常被忽視,涉及到性別時尤其如此︰國際勞工組織的數據顯示,2018年女性參與全球勞動力市場的百分比為48.5%,比男性低了不止25個百分點。

“Economies with higher labour force participation rates for women experience fewer growth downturns. More women workers not only make economies more resilient to adverse economic shocks but a labour force with more women also represents a powerful anti-poverty tool," Ekkehard Ernst, an economist at the ILO, explains.

國際勞工組織的美高梅官方开户學家恩斯特(Ekkehard Ernst)解釋說︰“美高梅官方开户體中,如果女性參與勞動力市場的比例較高,則美高梅官方开户增長下滑的速度會比較慢。女性勞動者更多不僅能讓美高梅官方开户體更有抵抗美高梅官方开户沖擊的能力,也是對抗貧窮的有力手段。”

What is certain is that the clock keeps ticking.

可以確定的是,問題迫在眉睫。

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