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The Sunday Times 08.11.2015. Reproduced here with kind permission of The Sunday Times newspaper.


Europe is going grey, very grey. In 1800 no country had a life expectancy beyond age 40, but by 2050 one in three people in Europe will be over 60. By then, one in 10 will be over 80—nearly 500,000 people in Ireland. The ageing population will bring its own problems, caused mainly by health, income and government support. Denmark spends about €5,000 a year on social protection in old age; Latvia, Romania and Croatia spend €500. In Ireland, in 2011, the figure was €2,000.