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01.04.2015 | Ausgabe 3/2015

Social Indicators Research 3/2015

Changing Age Structures and Ageing Scenario of the Arab World

Zeitschrift:
Social Indicators Research > Ausgabe 3/2015
Autoren:
Rshood M. Khraif, Asharaf Abdul Salam, Ibrahim Elsegaey, Abdullah AlMutairi

Abstract

The Arab World, composed of 22 member states of the Arab League, undergoes a rapid transition in demographic front in terms of fertility, mortality, and migration. It is a distinctive geographic region that extends across the Western Asia and North East Africa, united by Arabic language, and that shares common values and characteristics, despite the diversity in economic and political conditions. The demographic lag that characterizes the Arab World is unique, but the present trend of declining fertility combined with the existing relatively low mortality exerts pressures on age structures, thereby influencing an ageing population phenomena. The current research aimed to (1) explore changes in age structure over a period of 3 decades and (2) assess the ageing situation. Based on the International Data Base (IDB) of US Census Bureau, for 3 periods—1992, 2002, and 2012, 21 countries of the Arab World (Palestine excluded because data were not available) were analyzed by dividing them into four geographic sectors: Gulf Cooperation Council, West Asia, Maghreb, and Nile Valley African Horn. Changing age structures with decreasing young cohorts accompanied by increasing adult cohorts constrict and influence the age pyramids. The ageing scenario, further revealed through child–woman ratio, aged–child ratio, median age, and age–dependency ratio indicates changes with differences across sectors. Changes in age structures and ageing in the Arab World can be delineated into four geographic sectors. Population growth influences the age structure in line with the increasing proportion of adolescents and youths but a decreasing proportion of children, leading to ageing of the population.

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