Essay 457 – In many countries, people are now living longer than ever before

GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 457

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

In many countries, people are now living longer than ever before. Some people say an ageing population creates problems for governments. Other people think there are benefits if society has more elderly people.

To what extent do the advantages of having an ageing population outweigh the disadvantages?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Model Answer:

In numerous countries, the average human lifespan is expanding, resulting in an increasingly ageing population. This essay critically evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of this demographic shift and contends that, despite some benefits, the drawbacks of an ageing population are more substantial.

One significant advantage of an ageing population is the wealth of experience and wisdom that older individuals bring to society. For instance, in Japan, where a considerable portion of the population is elderly, there is a treasure trove of knowledge and skills possessed by the older generation. This experience can be invaluable in mentoring the younger population, ensuring the preservation and transmission of cultural and societal wisdom. Another notable advantage is the potential economic contribution of elderly citizens. For instance, many retirees continue to engage in part-time work or entrepreneurship, leveraging their vast experience and skills. This not only benefits the individuals themselves but also contributes to the overall economy.

However, one major disadvantage of an ageing population is the strain it places on healthcare systems. Older individuals tend to require more extensive medical care, including treatment for chronic conditions and age-related ailments. In countries like Italy, with a substantial elderly population, this has led to a significant burden on the healthcare system, with long waiting times for surgeries and specialized care. Another significant drawback is the potential strain on pension and social welfare systems. With an ageing population, a larger portion of the workforce retires, while fewer young individuals enter it. This demographic shift can strain pension and social welfare programs, leading to potential economic instability and increased taxes for the working population.

In conclusion, while there are advantages to an ageing population, including their wealth of experience and potential economic contributions, the disadvantages, such as strain on healthcare and social welfare systems, outweigh the benefits.

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