This entry describes the causes and consequences of population aging, a term denoting the shifts in the age structure of a population in the direction of older ages. That is, population aging means an increasing proportion of the older adults in the total population in many societies today. These shifts occurred as a result of changes in human reproductive behavior and increasing the life span at older ages. Population aging is a global phenomenon and is predicted to be among the most prominent world demographic trends of the 21st century. Population aging is observed in many industrialized countries including the United States; however, among world regions Asia leads in the speed of aging and the size of the older population. The sole exception is Africa, ...

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