Social And Economic Aspect Of Population Aging In Russia And Mongolia

Abstract

The leaders of the economic race in the XXI century will be countries that have achieved a greater efficiency in solving the problems of economic development. The world is at the initial level of the demographic old age, according to the presented scale. It is 12-14% in the world population, according to the latest UN data, and 13% are people aged or older. One of the main demographic gaps is that the prevailing age structure of continents, regions and countries is different. The population of Mongolia is much younger than the world population on the whole, as well as the population of Russia. The world is almost twice as old as Mongolia, and the countries compared in terms of population aging are three times higher than those of the Mongolian population. Despite different levels of demographic aging, a decision on the reform of the pension system was made both in Mongolia and in Russia. Based on statistical data, a cross-country analysis of objective and subjective factors, which make government policy with respect to the older generation, is carried out. Problems of a social and demographic group of elderly people in Russia and Mongolia are considered in the context of the approaches of foreign and domestic researchers to the study of people of the “third age”. The economic, statistical and sociological analysis allowed identifying some general and specific aspects in the modern situation of older people in Russia (Kalmykia) and Mongolia.

Keywords: RussiaMongoliademographicdynamicspopulation aging

Introduction

The choice of two neighboring countries (Russia and Mongolia) to conduct an intercountry analysis of the problem of population aging is caused by the following factor: in addition to the global nature of the problem, which already implies broad international scientific cooperation, the results of joint scientific research can be of a particular practical interest to neighbors with similar ethnic, social and cultural, confessional, and historical peculiarities.

The population of Mongolia is much younger than the world population as well as the population of Russia. The share of elderly and older people here is 7%, while in the Russian Federation this figure reaches 21%. The world is almost twice as old as Mongolia, and the countries compared in terms of population aging are three times higher than those of the Mongolian population. The forecasts show that the process of demographic aging will increase both at the global and at the macro levels. A significant factor is not only the size and structure of the population, but also life expectancy. Life expectancy at birth in the period of 2010-2015 was 70.8 years for both sexes in the whole world; 70.3 years in the Russian Federation, and 68.5 years in Mongolia (World Population Prospects, 2017). Women usually live longer than men, when they reach the older age; the number of women considerably exceeds the number of men. As a rule, the proportion of women in older age groups increases significantly with the increasing age.

Problem Statement

This paper presents the problem of population aging, considered on the basis of a comparative analysis of the situation of the older generation in Russia and Mongolia. The analysis of scientific literature on this issue indicates that the stated issues have not yet been the subject of a special research.

The relevance of the study is due to both the practical need to obtain objective relevant information about the situation in modern Russian and Mongolian societies in the context of increasing demographic aging, and the need for scientific understanding of social and demographic changes, the development of author's theoretical and methodological tools. The stated theme acquires a special meaning against the background of the economic recession and the crisis of spirituality in modern society, inconsistencies between legal and moral regulators, and changes in the demographic structure. The fundamental and scientific novelty of the research is ensured by the problem itself, the adequacy of the chosen methods of analysis related to the consideration of the older generation, not as a burden on the working age population as a potential for modernization. There are not enough studies, where the subject of social and economic studies would be the phenomenon of “older people”. Meanwhile, the aging tendency of the population is intensifying over time. Recently, there has been a process of reducing the able-bodied population that is the most economically active part of society.

Research Questions

The article is a comprehensive study of the older age group of the population of two neighboring countries with the identification of country and regional specifics associated with factors and determinants that imply the inclusion for older people to in the process of economic modernization.

Purpose of the Study

The aim of the study is to identify the economic potential of older people, as well as factors that both contribute and counteract their wider inclusion in the economic sphere of modern transforming societies in Russia and Mongolia.

Research Methods

The problems of older people are important not only of Russian and Mongolian demographers, sociologists, economists, but also for foreign researchers (Anderson, 2002; Baltes & Smith, 2003; Bowling, 2007).

Among the many studies devoted to the stated topic, it seems useful to mention the collective monograph of the scientists of the Institute of Social and Economic Studies of Population of the Russian Academy of Sciences "Older generation and future" (Rimashevskaya, 2014). This work is characterized by a successful combination of analysis of the empirical data of a sociological research, statistical materials with the development of scientific and theoretical tools. In particular, a methodology has been created that helps to define age periods for older people. Its criterion is a concept of a resource potential, which makes it possible to analyze the qualitative characteristics of older age cohorts. V.V. Lokosov considers the possibility of overcoming a demographic crisis through the actualization of the intensive approach that is through redirecting the demographic policy from quantity to quality of the population, in creating conditions for full realization of human potential, and adjusting the relevant policy to reflect the strategic interests of indigenous peoples of Russia (Lokosov, 2014).

One of the main acts of the international legitimization of a demographic problem as the world one should be considered the UN General Assembly resolution 37/51 of December 3, 1982, which approved the International Plan of Action on Aging. In 1991, a special document was developed entitled “United Nations Principles for Older Persons”, which contained, guidelines on the issues related to the health of older people, their rights to socialization, opportunities for creative potential etc. In the future, the problem of older people became common on the agenda of the UN forums.

Findings

For a long period, demographic problems had predominantly a local or, at the maximum, a regional scale in the world. In the XXth century, they were among such global problems as economics, environment, politics, communication, etc. The most important factors determining the intensity of demographic aging are the increase in “life expectancy and decrease in depleted fertility”. The Madrid International Plan of Action on Aging (RSAA, 2002) that was adopted at the beginning of the millennium, it was proposed to the governments, the international research community, business, and non-governmental organizations to build a society for people of all ages. The civilization choice of a new time consists of choosing the strategy that is the most appropriate for a given country. On the one hand, these are directions of the economic growth; on the other hand, measures to ensure a “decent old age” associated with the model formation of active longevity.

Currently, 13% of the world's population is elderly people. Cohen's article "Human Population: The Next Half Century" notes that by 2050 the population will be older than in the XXth century (Cohen, 2003, p. 1172). It is predicted that by the middle of the century (by 2050) the proportion of elderly people will increase to 21%, that is the number of people over the age of 60 on our planet will increase to two billion, thus, it will exceed the number of children under the age of 15 for the first time. We are talking about the aging index, which shows the ratio of the number of older and younger age.

Since the proportion of persons aged 60 years and older was taken as a criterion for analyzing the age structure, it is customary to use the scale proposed by the French demographer J. Božège-Garnier and refined by the Polish researcher E. Rosset. At the same time, if the proportion of persons 60+ is less than 8%, the population is considered demographically young, and if this indicator reaches 18 percent or more, this is defined as a very high level of demographic old age (Pirozhkov, 2004).

The world as a whole is at the initial level of demographic old age, according to the presented scale it is 12-14%. According to the latest UN data, the composition of the world population is aged 13% or more. The folded age structure of continents, regions and countries is extremely different. For example, in Africa there are only 5% of older people today and five times more in Europe (25%) (World Population Prospects, 2017).

Since the proportion of persons aged 60 years and older was taken as a criterion to analyze the age structure, it is customary to use the scale proposed by the French demographer J. Božège-Garnier and refined by the Polish researcher E. Rosset. At the same time, if the proportion of persons 60+ is less than 8%, the population is considered demographically young, and if this indicator reaches 18 % or more, this is defined as a very high level of demographic old age (Pirozhkov, 2004).

The world is at the initial level of demographic old age. Judging by the presented scale, it is 12-14%. According to the latest UN data, the composition of the world population is aged 13% or more. The folded age structure of continents, regions and countries is extremely different. For example, in Africa there are only 5% of older people today and five times more in Europe (25%) (World Population Prospects, 2017).

At the beginning of 2017, the number of senior citizens in the Russian Federation amounted to over 36 million people. According to the forecasts, by 2025, older people will constitute more than a quarter of the total population of Russia. By 2050, the number of older people aged 60 and over is proposed at 37.2%, that is, it will increase by almost 2 times for half a century. Of course, the situation in the Russian regions varies. According to the 2010 census, the population of the Central Federal District was the oldest, the youngest district was the North Caucasus and Far Eastern (the average age in the youngest regions of Russia is almost 15 years lower).

The population of Mongolia is much younger than the world population as well as the population of Russia. The share of elderly and older people here is 7%, while n the Russian Federation it is 21%. The world is almost twice as old as Mongolia, and the countries compared in terms of population aging are three times higher than those of the Mongolian population. The forecasts show that the process of demographic aging will increase both at the global and macro levels. A significant factor is not only the size and structure of the population, but also life expectancy. Life expectancy at birth (LE) in the period of 2010-2015 was 70.8 years for both sexes, 70.3 years in the Russian Federation, and 68.5 years in Mongolia (World Population Prospects, 2017). Women usually live longer than men, when they reach the older age, their number considerably exceeds the number of men. For this reason, the proportion of women in older age groups increases significantly with increasing the age.

There are various approaches to the classification of age groups and peculiarities of the definition of the elderly in general. There is no longer any talk of the classic triad “childhood – adulthood – old age”. Researchers distinguish two different categories - “third age” (up to 75 years old) and “fourth age” (Laslett, 1991; Koss & Ekerdt, 2016).

The concept of the third age is associated with the name of Peter Laslett. The British historian was one of the first who proposed to divide old people into “the Young Old” (“young old men”) and “the Old Old” (“oldest ones”). In the first case, we are talking about active aging. Thus, the “third age” pushed real age away to the fourth place, which is associated with weakness and decrepitude. The concept of old age itself has undergone a qualitative change, since the proportion of people who have reached retirement age (60 years old for men), as well as the life expectancy of citizens in general, as we have seen, is increasing annually. Those people, who we called old until recently, lead an active lifestyle, continue to work and bring benefits to the society.

For Mongolian-speaking people, the life cycle is traditionally divided into several large periods: childhood (kalm. Bah. nasn), adulthood (kalm. idr nasn) and old age (kalm. kɵgshn nasn). Each of these major periods consists of different stages with their own cultural peculiarity, for example, the prenatal age is also distinguished (kalm. ki nasn) (Omakaeva, 1998; Omakaeva, 2010). If the measure of the human age is usually considered the period of 100 years (if people reach this age, they are called centenarians), then, according to the lunisolar calendar of the Mongolian people, this marker is the 60-year cycle.

The given examples of the classifications of the life cycle of a person indicate significant discrepancies in the age division due to national and cultural specifics.

Today, more than 70 thousand pensioners live in Kalmykia. The number of older people makes up a quarter of the population of the republic. About a third of pensioners in Kalmykia (25,801 people) continue to work. More than five thousand residents of the republic reached the 80-year milestone.

The demographic development of Mongolian society is also characterized by a change in the age structure of the population and a rapid increase in the number of people older than working age. Over the past 10 years, the country's age group has increased by 21.9%, while the total population of Mongolia has increased by 16.1%. The demographic potential (the ratio of the proportion of children and adolescents to the older population) in Mongolia has declined significantly in recent years. In 1990, the coefficient was 4.85, and in 2010 it was 1.31. The average life expectancy is 64 years for men, 73 years for women (Mongol Ulsyn Statistikyin emhatgal, 2015).

Strategies for the elderly and older people are grouped in the following main areas: population aging and the epidemiological transition, which are determined by a change in the age structure of the population, with a characteristic change in the situation characterized by the prevalence of infectious diseases and high maternal and infant mortality, to the situation when non-communicable, especially chronic diseases; the transformation of health systems and the organization of long-term care, an increase in the number of elderly and older people leads to an increase in chronic diseases and the number of people with disabilities, which requires the development of a wide network of gerontological and geriatric services; the problem of providing long-term care for the terminally ill is aggravated; the productivity of the elderly and their integration into the society; ensuring guaranteed income for dynamically increasing groups of elderly and older people on the basis of balanced multi-level approaches. The main strategic tools for overcoming the poverty and vulnerability of people in old age are managed by private entities or state pension systems (Sidorenko & Andrews, 2002).

Despite the different levels of demographic aging, both in Mongolia and Russia, the problems of reforming the pension system are being discussed. By 2016, the population of Mongolia was 3.1 million. The studies show that only half of people of working age pay the pension insurance. 800 thousand employees participate in the compulsory pension insurance and their contributions make up to 93% of all revenues to the Social Insurance Fund; the remaining 7% are formed at the expense of voluntary insurance. In 2016, in Mongolia pensions were paid to 372 thousand citizens, two thirds of them (268 thousand people) received old-age insurance pensions. The remaining third were pensioners for disability and for the loss of the breadwinner.

Currently, according to the package of measures proposed by the International Monetary Fund for Mongolia, the government should raise the retirement age for women to 65 years for men to 66 years until 2035. However, as the Mongolian expert Mygmardor Buyanjargal showed, with a low life expectancy in today's Mongolia, and the current growth rate of life expectancy, the introduction of a new age limit for the retirement will lead to the fact that Mongolian men will receive pension payments only for seven - eight years.

In May 2018, some publications were devoted to the inevitability of raising the retirement age in Russia. The Deputy Prime Minister for Social Affairs of the Russian Government, Tatyana Golikova (2017), answered the question: “Is it possible to raise the retirement age?” “Really”. There were many discussions about the new pension reform. Different departments offered different options. The Ministry of Finance proposed raising the age for the retirement age for men to 65 years, for women to 63 years. The Ministry of Labor proposed other age limits: for men - 65 years, and for women - 60 years.

The second variant was successful. The draft law was reviewed and adopted by the State Duma in the final third reading on September 27, 2018. The decision was made by an overwhelming majority: 333 deputies voted to change the retirement age, however, many negative opinions were expressed during the discussion of such a law. The law on rising the retirement age in the Russian Federation since 2019 was signed by the President of Russia on October 3, 2018.

Both in Mongolia and Russia, the retirement age is associated with the need to improve the sustainability of pension funds. Indeed, with an increase in the number and proportion of elderly and older people, the pension system has some difficulties with a revenue base. However, with a low level of public health, the retirement age is associated with an increase in disability, this problem has already been encountered in the European Union. To perform a new stage of the pension reform, its linkage with the creation of high-tech jobs, including for men and women of senior working groups, and the more persistent development of the system of continuing education are necessary. A new technological breakthrough is needed for both Mongolia and Russia, since the transition to the sixth technological order, the introduction of robotics, poses other problems, primarily related to maintaining the quality of human potential throughout the life cycle.

Conclusion

The problem of aging population is relevant for many countries in the world, including Russia and Mongolia. Joint cross-country studies may be important to establish a correlation between demographic dynamics and foreign policy of countries. It is vital to carry out a monitoring analysis of the activities of the Russian Federation and Mongolia in the demographic sphere, determine the prospects for its development, set scientifically based tasks aimed to improve the health and life expectancy of the population, and involve the older people in activities. It is important to take into account the experience of both two neighboring countries and the world, including the organization and performance of joint research with other foreign research centers, the main content of which could be a comparative analysis of the demographic situation at the global level and forecasts of its development for the short and long terms.

A tendency of aging population in neighboring countries is fraught with a number of strategic risks, including risks associated with incomplete coverage of problems of the older generation and their adequate reflection in the strategic and program documents of the Russian Federation and Mongolia. Viability and sustainability of the third age depend on the competent economic, social and demographic policy of the state, allowing the elderly to realize themselves and find their niche.

Modern society ageing should lead to rethinking of the existing attitude towards old age in the public consciousness to form a new, positive, image of older people, as the civilization of society is judged by the attitude of the society to the elderly.

Acknowledgments

The reported study was funded by RFBR according to the research project № 17-22-03004-OGN.

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29 March 2019

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Cite this article as:

Badgaeva, D. N., Egorov, V. K., Lokosov, V. V., Dobrokhleb, V. G., & Omakaeva*, E. U. (2019). Social And Economic Aspect Of Population Aging In Russia And Mongolia. In & D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 58. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1458-1465). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.03.02.169