Age Demographics: Definition and The Effects

Age demographics is one of the most favorite and vital aspects of population studies. Understanding age can help us to predict and project human progress.

As you know, demography is not only about the size or growth but also about structure and composition. Age is one of determining variable in demography that would be awkward composition in population nowadays.

World’s population is getting older, and maintaining age progress is a crucial element to prepare the future.

Many experts and demographers predict by 2050, there will be more elderly people than children in the world, for the first time in human history.

Modernity makes a human change and has a different perspective on giving birth. Fertility reduction is the main issue that makes people giving birth less than before. Also, the increasing oh human life quality makes people live longer and affects the population structure.

Well, this is good news and bad news. Human is successfully creating a good place that makes their quality of life is better. Vice versa, aging populations can introduce serious challenges in terms of society and the economy.

Dependent generation (also known as a sandwich generation) sometimes will be a trouble for you people who still have unstable life and carrier.

Besides, the low birth rate means there is less youth in the future. The government especially should take this topic immediately.

Age Demographics Definition

Age demographics is an essential part of population studies. It shapes the world or nation into several types of structure which show us the population structure.

Noticing age as the fundamental piece of development will give you a valuable insight in enhancing human prosperity.

That’s why every demographic survey and census always put age as a basic demographic question because age analysis is very interesting.

Perhaps, we are familiar with “Demographic Bonus”. This is a condition when young people is tremendously huge than the elder. Age demographic analysis has a role in this part.

Young generations are like a double-edged sword. We have to keep our eyes close on them to keep them on the right track.

We have to agree that youth should have a good education. Human development starts with children, not only when mature enough. Allowing them to study and learn will be the best path for them and their family world into the light.

By using the right method, age demographics is a powerful tool to help people through a better population.

Why Age Demographics Are Important?

In many forum or discussion, talking about age demographics are always hot. Why? Because it’s a complicated thing that makes our world runs now.

1. Aging people and fertility is the main issue

The truth is, people have their point of view about marriage. As you know, marriage is something sacred for couple nowadays. This is a serious matter that takes a lot of courage.

As you know, marriage is expensive and quite “difficult” currently. The couple should prepare a lot of “troublesome” things and prepare tons of money to hold a party. It makes young hold themselves from wedding stuff.

Also, having babies is very expensive presently. For some people, they cost a lot. Some people don’t want to have babies and choose to put their money into something else.

In several countries, no marriage and no toddlers movement is rising as the sound of common things in our life.

Well, you can’t blame them. They are not doing something wrong. But it affects human progress in massive numbers.

Japan, for example, are facing fertility problem. The people don’t want to have babies or even getting married because they can’t afford it. As the consequences, young people keep decreasing and the older is keep growing.

If we keep this situation for the long term, it could be an indirect extinction for a race.

2. Dependency ratio is another type of “burden”

Yes, if you are a medic or someone who care about health, the longer people live, the better the medical treatment is. But, we have to know that aging means longer needs for someone.

The world keeps changing. The quality of life has another effect that we should worry now. At 1960, the world life expectancy is only 52.28 years. At 2017, It grows to 72.23 years. Such a huge improvement in the last 60 years.

A man can live until 72, on average. But, the retirement age in average is 65 years (could be more or less). It means, there are several years gap when someone has to be dependent on others, especially their family.

It’s okay if their family or their child have a good life so he or she can accommodate the parents. But, how it can’t do that?

It’s not about our duty to parents. It’s about preparing the elder facing reality. We should make a comprehensive program which covers this condition.

3. Age Demographics are Affecting socio, economic, and environmental condition

The age demographic would be a factor to determine so many policies in this world. Every group has their uniqueness and we can’t treat them in the same way.

Especially, if you are a businessman or a marketer, understanding the age of your market would be the determinant of your success.

In case, if a country facing a demographic bonus, of course, the government should make a policy which prioritizes human capital development to utilize the condition. It would be a great human resource that perhaps won’t appear anymore in the future.

In another side, if a country which faces a large population and high fertility rate, there should be a way to control the birth rate. Great numbers of people are great. Human is the basic factor of economic progress.

But, it could lead to the worst condition such as environmental pollution, criminal, until epidemic case.

Age Structure

Describing age structure to explain the population is quite familiar. You can use a simple formula like frequency distributions, ratios, distributions, and another basic example of descriptive statistics.

Census bureau or other official institutions put age as a mandatory question. It shapes so many characteristics and produces interesting fact and information.

Usually, surveyor or researcher use five years gap as a groupage. Despite using each value, grouping makes the analysis becomes easier, faster, and better.

Also, to make it comparable, we can use the percentage as the tool to see the distribution of age. The formula is:


You can put the gender variable as another differentiate to make a specific classification. Because woman and man have different characteristics, right?

Combining with gender, it could be a fantastic result. You can find another perspective and pattern between man and woman in population studies.

After putting the age in the group and gender, you can use an age dependency ratio as a convenient way to compare the relative size. By using this, we can predict how the condition of dependency in a country.

The formula is:



 P0–14 = population aged under fifteen years

P65+ = population aged sixty-five or more years

P 15–64 = population aged fifteen through sixty-four

Let see the table below.


Now, let’s start to calculate the age-dependency ratio!


Based on the table, you can conclude that the dependency ratio is 53.33. It means, there are 53 or 54 people dependents for 100 persons of working age. The dependents mean they are who still classified as a child and the elder.

You can make your own age-dependency ratio analysis by using gender data above. Give it a shot, pal!

One of the most familiar ways to describe gender and age structure is population pyramids. It is a group of bar graphs which construct by the age group and look like a pyramid.

It can be used to identify and compare the classes in any frequency distribution or percentage distribution.

The population pyramid consists of a man and woman bar. They are presented together and form a pile of the bar and we can use it as an analysis based on its form.

By using this, you can see how the population shape and what will happen in the future if we let this continue.

As an example, let me take you to the world population pyramid in 2020. This is an estimated data by United Nation.

Source: United Nation

See the population pyramid above which constructed by age group and we’ll see much interesting information.

As you know, actually, there is more young male than female in the world. It would affect the woman may have the opportunity to have no spouse or partner in the future.

But, a woman lives longer than man. The pyramid shows us that there is more than females than males at the top of it.

Perhaps, because a woman is taking care of themselves more than a man. They tend to regularly check them self to a doctor and keep their body fit and healthy by medical treatment.

Not like a man (which is me also, who like to recklessly take care of their body.

How Age Demographics Affects Population

We already agree that there are three-factors that affects the population; fertility, mortality, and migration. If we use some statistical formula to predict the society, we have to assume that the other two is constant or at least not change is the shape of the projected pyramid in the huge term.

Mortality, fertility, and migration. These three things are demographic characteristics that have a big influence on determining the future population.

Only women give birth, and usually only about thirty years. It depends on the women condition, sometimes can be more or less.

Maintaining the birth rate would be an effective way to make a great population. If a country has a low fertility rate, it will be a threat for the future exist.

But, high fertility would cause another trouble such as poverty, sanity, criminality, and others.

Mortality is a big problem all over the world. It could happen to anyone, young, old, baby, or even a super healthy person.

History record that health problem such as an epidemic, bad health system for toddler and mother, are the things that affect the mortality rate.

How lucky we are now live in the modern and great technology era which could help us better to survive from any disease.

Yes, mortality has a big connection with economic and socio condition. We must create a better life and world as a better place to live for them who are unlucky.

Migration is very interesting. It streams are generally comprised of young adults. Several factors make people migrate from their hometown. Maybe for education, health, job, or even for a better chance in another place.

If a city has a better education institution, especially university, there is a pattern that the city will be by resided by more college people, specifically young people. It would shape the population pyramid which has a big chart of youth, perhaps in 17-30 group.

These three demographic characteristics are the key factors of developing human and population. Each country has its unique condition and different policy to keep its stability.


Age demographics is a determinant to secure almost the whole thing in the world. Controlling the age structure will keep the balance of the development.

Age demographic should be maintained carefully because:

  • 1. Aging people and fertility is the main issue
  • 2. Dependency ratio is another type of “burden”
  • 3. Age Demographics are Affecting socio, economic, and environmental condition

There is no one country or even race that want to be extinct in the future. Vice versa, high growth would be a dilemma because giving birth is a human right.

It’s not about accelerating or decelerating the population. It’s about keeping them in the right shape and fulfill their basic right for life.

As you know, we have limited natural resources, but in fact, the human keep increasing and consume over the world.

Do not hesitate to leave a comment!