(Today Venezuela) Although the most recent population census –conducted in 2011- found that Venezuela was regarded as a young nation, with a median age of 27 years, projections made by the National Statistics Institute (INE) show a country that tends to get old, revealing ineluctable traces of time that use up the demographic bonus, with working ages ranging from 15-59 years.
According to INE indicators, 24% of the country’s population (9,596,206 inhabitants) in 2050 will be aged from 60 to more than 100 years. This has come to the attention of some institutions such as the Caracas Metropolitan Mayoralty (AMC), which responds to aging with data suggesting an urgent situation: by 2040, 21% of Caracas residents will be above the working age, in accordance with statistic parameters.
For that year, INE estimates an overall life expectancy rate of 78.77 years, according to projections calculated in the second quarter of 2013. This means a 3.42 year increase versus the current life expectancy rate, which stands at 75.35 years.
This demographic projection this year drew the attention of the City Permanent Forum, installed on June 30 by the Metropolitan government of Caracas. There, several experts spotlighted a topic that, beyond unofficial statistics, reflects a reality involving sick, abandoned old people who lack attention and healthcare services.
In order to illustrate the population’s marital status, the most recent census nationwide indicates that out of 100 people, only 51 live together or are married; 40 are single, 5 are divorced, and 4 are widows or widowers. This allows profiling of groups vulnerable to abandonment.
Expert in adults Salvatore Verlezza, a doctor at Los Magallanes de Catia Hospital, does not only focus on people without relatives. He explains that many reasons lead old people to turn to retirement homes, particularly the lack of resources, cognitive problems and old age diseases.
“Given the crisis, there are families that leave the country and take healthy elderly people to retirement homes; virtually, that is abandonment,” Verlezza claims. This situation calls for the rethinking of urban areas in order to increase the number of public spaces, hospitals, and build old people’s homes and cemeteries.
With regards to decreasing population, official figures show that the country will go from a 1.4 growth rate this five-year period to 0.7 in 2040 and 0.4 by mid-century. For some experts, this situation results from a nation with a fertility rate of two children per woman. In the view of representatives of the Venezuelan Violence Watch (OVV), this phenomenon is due to increased insecurity, which in 2015 translated into a death rate of 122 murders in every 100,000 inhabitants.
Source: El Universal