Economic benefits to people living longer, says think-tank

20 Aug 18

Countries could economically benefit from people living longer and should invest more in health to raise life expectancy, a think-tank has urged.

The International Longevity Centre said that as people live longer productivity also increases, in terms of ‘output’ per hour worked, per worker, boosting the economy.

Improving health and ensuring that people live longer should therefore be a key goal for governments, the analysis, based on OECD figures from 35 countries [see graph below], said.

According to the analysis, Iceland, which has one of the healthiest populations in the world, has an employment rate of 83% for 60 to 64-year-olds. This compares to the OECD average of 48.9%.

Ben Franklin, assistant director for research and policy at the think-tank, said that as raising life expectancy results in improved productivity, countries will also be able to collect more taxes from the people in work.

He said: “Public policy and economic forecasters should consider how best to take into account the potential fiscal benefit of better health and not neglect it in discussions of our long run sustainability.”

The said that the findings are particularly important amid “many debates about long run government spending” where health spending is seen as a “drain on fiscal resources”.

Did you enjoy this article?

Related articles

Have your say

CIPFA latest