Aging in Latin American and the Caribbean

Palloni, Alberto, Susan De Vos, and Martha Pelaez
Working paper no. 1999-02


This document evaluates the nature of aging in Latin America and the Caribbean, and reviews available evidence regarding the demographic profile of the elderly, their health and disability status, the composition of their human capital, labor force participation and retirement behavior, residential arrangements, and intergenerational transfer systems. The review identifies problematic areas to take account in the design and implementation of public policies. Among them we include the following: an accelerated pace of demographic aging, large expected differentials in the process of aging (by rural-urban residence and by socioeconomic groups), sharp gender inequalities, unfavorable composition by health and disability status, dissolution of traditional family-based support systems, and insufficient development of institutional transfers mechanisms.