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Recent demographic trends in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region will shape the growth and age composition of its populations for decades to come. The rapid mortality decline that began during the 1950s, and the more recent and even sharper reduction in fertility, will produce unusually high rates of growth of the older population, a large change in overall population age composition, and significant increases in the ratio of older to younger population. According to the 2013 United Nations projections, the number of people aged 60 and over in LAC is expected to increase from 59 million in 2010 to 196 million in 2050, and the number of people aged 80 and over will increase from 8.6 million to more than 44 million during the same period.

To explore the process of rapid aging in the LAC, a workshop took place at the National Academy of Medicine in May 2015. Participants of the workshop presented scientific research emphasizing what is unique about aging in LAC and what is similar to other processes around the world, highlighted the main areas where knowledge of the aging process in LAC is insufficient and new research is required, and proposed data collection that will produce information for policymaking while being responsive to the needs of the research community for harmonized, highly comparable information. The workshop afforded participants an opportunity to consider strategies for articulating data collection and research in the region so that country-based teams can reap the benefits from being part of a larger enterprise while simultaneously maintaining their own individuality and responding to the particular needs of each country. Strengthening the Scientific Foundation for Policymaking to Meet the Challenges of Aging in Latin America and the Caribbean summarizes the presentations and discussions of the workshop.

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Strengthening the Scientific Foundation for Policymaking to Meet the Challenges of Aging in Latin America and the Caribbean: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

90 pages |  6 x 9 | 

  • Paperback:  978-0-309-37804-8
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-37807-9

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