Ageing population across EU is driving rising dependency ratio

 
Ben Southwood
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THE RATIO of working age adults to those of retirement age shrunk from roughly five to one in 1992 to under four to one last year, figures showed yesterday.

There were 26.8 per cent as many people aged 65 and older as there were people of working age in 2012, the Eurostat numbers showed, up from 21.1 per cent during 1992.

And though the total age dependency ratio, which also includes dependents under 15, has only risen slightly, a smaller younger generation foreshadows a yet higher old age ratio, as the elderly live longer and fewer children are born to support them.

There is a sharp divide within the EU. In Germany and Italy there are only just over three times as many working age residents as there are over-65s, whereas there are only 18 per cent as many over 65 in Slovakia, Ireland and Cyprus as there are aged 16 to 64.

Meanwhile January saw further decline in the Spanish mortgage market, with four per cent less home loans than the year before, according to separate numbers, from Ine, also out yesterday.

And French consumer confidence continued to fall as the country fought not to be the latest casualty of the Eurozone’s economic crisis, from 86 in February to 84 in March, where 100 is the long run average.