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What does “demographic change” mean?



Photo: Jacqueline Lazar

A word derived from the ancient Greek, “demography” literally means “describing the population”. And that’s precisely what demographers do: they describe the size, composition and structure of populations. The term “demographic change” is most commonly used to refer to shifts in population structure that have emerged in many industrialised nations including Germany since the 1970s, chiefly as a result of three major developments: declining birth rates, longer life expectancy and increasing immigration. These changes present many challenges, but many opportunities, as well.

Saskia Blank from the Ideas 2020-Team answered this question in collaboration with Sonja Jülich-Abbas, deputy of the Head of “Press and Public Relations” at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases.