An ageing population 人口老化

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全球人口正在經歷老化,這重要嗎?雖然人口老化意味著勞動人口比重下降,老年人更依賴政府救濟,但這件事情也有積極的一面。有哪些辦法可以減輕人口老化的影響?本期 「隨身英語」 圍繞這一現象展開討論。

詞彙:age 年齡老化

There’s one thing for certain – we’re all getting older. And while the older amongst us may be no spring chickens any more, growing old gracefully is no bad thing. And with age comes wisdom. However, as the world population ages, will there be enough people to replace our younger selves?

A situation where there are more old people than young certainly has an effect on the world. A report by the Pew Research Center says that globally the number of people over 65 years old will triple by 2050, drastically altering some countries’ demographic make-up.

This growing and dependent population means that there is an increased demand for health and social care. Governments will struggle to provide satisfactory pensions, which are ultimately funded by taxes paid by the working population. And long-term, a smaller population of economically-active people may be a problem for companies trying to recruit staff.

Attitudes to an ageing population vary around the world. The Pew Research Center survey found that 87% of Japanese people were most concerned about it, while only 26% of people from the USA were. Here, immigration is helping to boost the younger workforce. Some countries thought the elderly should take care of themselves, while others thought it was the responsibility of the family. Many thought the government should be responsible.

But old age shouldn’t just be seen negatively. Elderly people have knowledge and experience they can pass on. Some have wealth which they can spend, helping the economy. And some help society by doing voluntary or charity work. Of course, solutions are needed to tackle the issue, and these include increasing the retirement age, encouraging people to save for the future, persuading skilled and educated migrants to fill labour shortages, or even convincing people to have more children.

詞彙表

no spring chicken 不再年輕
gracefully 優雅地,體面地
wisdom 智慧
age 變老,老化
demographic make-up 人口構成
dependent 需要被贍養的,依賴他人生活的
social care 社會護理服務
pension 養老金
working population 勞動人口
ageing population 老齡化人口
the elderly 老人,上了年紀的人
old age 老齡,老年
pass on 傳授
retirement age 退休年齡

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. According to research, what will happen to the number of over 65-year-olds by 2050?

2. Who funds the pensions paid out by governments?

3. Who do people think should take care of the elderly?

4. True or false? Skilled migrants can help overcome the problems of a shrinking workforce.

5. What can elderly people do with the experience and knowledge they have?

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. The professor was known for her experience and _______.

pensions                      wisdom                      pass on                    dependant

2. I’m planning for my _______ by saving money every month.

old age                        elderly                        retirement age          pass on

3. Although incredibly _______, my 90-year-old grandma has such a wonderful spirit.

depending                   dependable                dependent                depends

4. I’m going to _______ my knowledge of baking to my children.

gracefully                     wisdom                      old age                      pass on

5. A special grocery delivery service has been set up to help the _______ in the community.

old age                        elderly                        pension                     retirement age

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. According to research, what will happen to the number of over 65-year-olds by 2050?
A report by the Pew Research Center says that globally, the number of people over 65 years old will triple by 2050.

2. Who funds the pensions paid out by governments?
Governments provide pensions which are ultimately funded by taxes paid by the working population.

3. Who do people think should take care of the elderly?
It varies. Some think they should take care of themselves, while others believe it should be the family’s job. Many think it’s the government’s responsibility.

4. True or false? Skilled migrants can help overcome the problems of a shrinking workforce.
True. Encouraging skilled and educated migrants can fill labour shortages.

5. What can elderly people do with the experience and knowledge they have?
Elderly people have knowledge and experience they can pass on.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. The professor was known for her experience and wisdom.

2. I’m planning for my old age by saving money every month.

3. Although incredibly dependent, my 90-year-old grandma has such a wonderful spirit.

4. I’m going to pass on my knowledge of baking to my children.

5. A special grocery delivery service has been set up to help the elderly in the community.