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People are living longer and societies are getting grayer.
You hear about it all the time. You read about it in your newspapers.
You hear about it on your television sets.
Sometimes, I'm concerned that we hear about it so much
that we've come to accept longer lives with a kind of a complacency, even ease.
But make no mistake, longer lives can -- and, I believe, will improve quality of life at all ages.
Now to put this in perspective, let me just zoom out for a minute.
More years were added to average life expectancy in the 20th century than all years added across all prior millennia of human evolution combined.
In the blink of an eye, we nearly doubled the length of time that we're living.
So if you ever feel like you don't have this aging thing quite pegged, don't kick yourself. It's brand new.
And because fertility rates fell across that very same period that life expectancy was going up,
that pyramid that has always represented the distribution of age in the population, with many young ones at the bottom
winnowed to a tiny peak of older people who make it and survive to old age, is being reshaped into a rectangle.
人们现在越活越久,社会也逐渐变得老龄化。
你可能总是听到别人这么说。你从报纸上如是读到。
你也可以从电视上看到。
有时候我很担心,我们听过长寿太多次,
以至于人们带着自满甚至安逸的情绪开始接受长寿的事实。
但是请别搞错,长寿能够--而且我相信,它肯定会--改善所有年龄的人们的生活品质。
现在让我们先拉个远景,从宏观的角度来看。
人们的平均寿命在整个20世纪增加的年数要比上千年来人类进化过程中所增加的总和还要多。
就在眨眼之间,我们已经将我们的寿命延长了一倍。
所以,如果你觉得你对变老这件事并不关心,不要自责。这个话题太新了。
因为在同一时期内生育率下降了,平均寿命增加了,
那个用来表示人口年龄分布的金字塔形底部的年轻人口总是很多,
延伸到老龄人口的尖顶,那些是成功存活到高龄的人(人口金字塔)形状发生了改变,变成了长方形。
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