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Europeans ready for 'active ageing', new survey says

13/01/2012

Brussels, 13 January 2012 – To mark the start of the 2012 European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity of Generations, the Commission presented today a new Eurobarometer survey showing that 71% of Europeans are aware that Europe's population is getting older, but only 42% are concerned about this development.

Brussels, 13 January 2012 – To mark the start of the 2012 European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity of Generations, the Commission presented today a new Eurobarometer survey showing that 71% of Europeans are aware that Europe's population is getting older, but only 42% are concerned about this development.

This is in stark contrast with the perceptions of policy makers, who regard demographic ageing as a major challenge. For most citizens, people aged 55 years and older play a major role in key areas of society. Over 60% believe that we should be allowed to continue working after retirement age and one third says that they would like to work longer themselves. Surprisingly, people closer to retirement are more likely to share this view than the younger generation.

Lázló Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion presented the survey saying: "Today's Eurobarometer survey shows that people are ready to remain active as they grow older. I am confident that the European year will act as a catalyst to mobilise citizens, stakeholders and decision-makers to take action to promote active ageing and to tackle the challenges of ageing in a positive way."

The Eurobarometer survey covers five areas: overall perceptions of age and older people; older people in the workplace; retirement and pensions; voluntary work and support for older people and an age-friendly environment.