Spijker, J. & MacInnes, J. (2015) SLS Impact Case Study 1. 5 November 2015. [SLS]
Other information: Although population has become a core policy concern, the debate is often flawed by poor definitions of ‘old age’. The Scottish Longitudinal Study was used to test a new measure of ageing, the Real Elderly Dependency Ratio (REDR) on various demographic groups. ‘Elderly’ was defined as those with remaining life expectancy of less than 15 years instead of 65+ and rather than taking those of working age as the population who sustains them, only actual workers were classed as such.
By taking into account the changing patterns of employment and old-age mortality, results showed that the REDR defines the burden of an ageing population more accurately than existing measures.
Following publication in the BMJ, the results were widely disseminated internationally. This led to opportunities to speak directly to both Westminster and Scottish Governments, think tanks and other public and third-sector organisations.