Exploring Ageing Parameters for Selected Caribbean Countries: Towards a Novel Approach
Godfrey St. Bernard, University of the West Indies
Ageing has traditionally been measured as the proportion of a nation’s population aged at least 65 years, ignoring age distribution dynamics. Alternative measures such as median age and the ageing index have also been used. This paper explores a novel conception of ageing as a change in human populations’ cumulative exposure-time to lifetime rewards and challenges in impacting individual and by extension, the collective well being, whether positively or negatively. This exploratory paper targets four Caribbean countries – Barbados, Belize, Jamaica and Saint Lucia, for the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. Ageing parameters are estimated and compared for the respective populations including disaggregation according to sex. The paper discusses likely implications of unexpected findings from the standpoint of interpreting ageing dynamics, reflects upon challenges associated with data availability and offers some direction for refining proposed measurement strategies.