The greying of the population is already creating challenges for governments in the long-term financing of healthcare, ageing care and pension systems, and because of the potentially negative effects on economic growth. Governments have to nd ways to keep older adults in the labour market and encourage investment in the development of the skills of older workers.
Older people are more likely to stay active in the labour market, and be more productive, if they have managed to develop and maintain their skills as they aged. Not only that, but greater proficiency in literacy and numeracy is associated with a greater likelihood of adults reporting that they are in good or excellent health – which obviously has an impact on the quality of life during one’s later years. Understanding how skills proficiency evolves over time is thus the first step in designing policies to respond to the economic and social challenges that arise as populations age.
- Adults aged 55 to 65 are less proficient in literacy and numeracy than adults aged 25 to 34.
- Differences in skills proficiency that are related to age vary widely across countries, implying that skills policies can affect the evolution of pro ciency over a lifetime.
- While older adults are generally less proficient than younger adults, they do no worse – and often better – than younger adults in terms of labour market outcomes.