Demographic Consequences of Defeating Aging

modified 2018-10-11

Demographic Consequences of Defeating Aging

In short:

Demographic projections if aging were defeated

Results:

Extreme projection was 22% increase of population over 100 years if mortality rate was frozen at 60 years of age.

Questions raised:

Might be interesting to play with the simulation to look at more radical changes (reducing mortality rate far below what it is currently).

Insights, lessons learnt:

Because there is always a chance of dieing whatever the age, the population does not increase quite as much as intuition would suggest, but some lucky people would grow to be literally thousands of years old if mortality rates were freezable!

Highlights:

“All projection scenarios considered here assume unchanged age specific
fertility and absence of migration, because the focus of this study is on projections of the rates of natural increase or
decline of the studied populations.”

Defeating aging was not assumed to increase fertility later in life, may underestimate impact therefore?

“If we consider a simple population projection assuming unchanged fertility and mortality schedules without life extension interventions, then it turns out that population of Sweden may face a significant population decline over the next 100 years (Table 1). That is why life extension in developed countries is a part of the solution of demographic problems rather than a problem itself.”

This also assumes no immigration, as they state

“with the most radical life extension scenario (assuming no aging at all after age 60), the total population increases by only 22% “

No ageing means that mortality stays stable after age 60. Starting treatment earlier (why wouldn’t you?) increases this number to around 50% if started at 40. It seems unlikely that people would wait for their mortality to start climbing before “freezing” it, if this were possible.
Looking at simply slowing the increase in the mortality rate after 60 would result in a declining population (for a rich European population with <2 children per couple)

Because there is always a chance of dieing whatever the age, the population does not increase quite as much as intuition would suggest, but some lucky people would grow to be literally thousands of years old if mortality rates were freezable!