Future trends of population ageing in Russia and Ukraine: a probabilistic view
Gaiane Safarova, Russian Academy of Sciences
Sergei Scherbov, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and Vienna Institute of Demography
Sergei Pirozhkov, The National Institute of International Security Problems
Understanding is deepening that a society in which most individuals can expect to lead a long and healthy life is a great achievement. In Russia and Ukraine where since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, old people have experienced numerous shocks that have worsened their living conditions and health status ageing issues are highly important. Within the framework of a comparative study on the dynamics of demographic processes in Russia and Ukraine a number of aspects of demographic development were analyzed, and a number of similarities and diversities were revealed. It was shown that general trends of natural population movement for Russia and Ukraine had been similar while considerable differences in migration trends took place. Besides, changes in age structure were similar as well. Demographic forecasts are an integral part of socio-economic planning at different levels. They can serve for quantitative assessment of expected effects of different economic and social programmes which are launched for achieving certain results. The paper aims at studying future trends of population ageing in Russia and Ukraine up to the year 2050 based on probabilistic projections. Changes in the total population size, proportions of population aged 65+ and 80+, old-age dependency ratio, median age for Russia and Ukraine are analyzed and compared. Unlike a conventional approach giving a fixed number of variants (usually medium, low and high), a probabilistic one gives a “bunch” of trajectories, each of them can be realized with a certain probability. Data of population censuses and vital statistics are used. Results of probabilistic projections are compared with the UN World Population Prospect (The 2006 Revision) for Russia and Ukraine. Progressing ageing has numerous profound and far-reaching consequences, and results of the study may contribute to more precise definition of corresponding economic, social and demographic policies for both countries.