IELTS essay sample: People are living longer. Is this a positive or negative development?
There is an increasing trend of old people living longer in many countries around the world. Do you think this has a positive or a negative effect on the population as a whole? Give your own opinion and relevant examples.
People are living longer because of advances in medical science and improved living standards. Longevity is definitely a positive thing, but it has some negative aspects too.
Longevity is a clear sign that living standards have improved and that more and more people have access to medical attention and lifesaving drugs. Longevity is a direct reflection of the living standards prevailing in a society. Countries where people live longer are also the countries that score well on other social parameters. So, if people are living longer, it is an indication that a lot of factors have improved.
On the flip side, living long is a risk. When the rate of birth in a country is much higher than their rate of death, their need for various resources will also increase. They need more food, water and energy. While living longer is a positive thing, this puts strain on natural resources which are already nearing exhaustion. An increase in the population of the aged also means an increase in health care and insurance costs. This can put strain on the public exchequer.
Another problem that greying societies face is the shortage of skilled manpower. Seniors are not very productive. Most of them require care and assistance. Some European countries are already facing this problem. Germany, for example, faces a severe shortage of talented workers. As a result, they have to depend on immigrants.
To conclude, longevity is definitely a positive thing, but countries where seniors outnumber young people are more likely to face a number of problems. In other words, longevity has both positive and negative impacts on the society. As far as the person is concerned, it is definitely a positive thing; however, it has several repercussions for the society.