By Lincoln H. Day

First released in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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Short-and-long-term estimates. Baltimore, Md: Johns Hopkins University Press. 14 2 THE FUTURE OF FERTILITY AND MORTALITY However we choose to define old age, the changes that can be expected in age structures and growth rates in these countries are bound to occasion some difficulties. But in so far as they are the direct result of older age structures and declines in growth rates (or of declining numbers themselves), these difficulties may be less serious and less intractable than is commonly envisaged.

1985, Table 36. 3 it was in 1985. Where numerical declines occurred (and because of the national differences in historical fertility patterns they would not occur in every instance), the extent of the change experienced by each successively older cohort in 1985 would be progressively less. By way of contrast with the experience of the 20-year-olds, the surviving half of men who were 60 years of age would encounter a population whose size was equal to what it 16 THE FUTURE OF FERTILITY AND MORTALITY had been in 1985, and in which the increases in the number 75 and over and the percentage these were of the total population would have been but 12 and 11 per cent, respectively.

But the examples from ancient times are not restricted to the military. Kebric notes that some among the Roman charioteers, a profession, in his view, probably unmatched for its dependence on ‘reflex, skills and strength,’ ‘continued to race in the Great Circus even when they were senior citizens’ (p. 302). More recent examples are found in Benet’s (1974) report on the 27 THE FUTURE OF LOW-BIRTHRATE POPULATIONS Abkasians of the Soviet Republic of Georgia, among whom unusually high proportions not only survive to very advanced old age but maintain physical and emotional fitness while doing so.

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