Increases in total population when resources are scarce increase population vulnerability. Assuming a continuation of recent trends in nearly all countries, we will see a demographic "bulge" in the population moving into older age groups and increasing life expectancies. Consequently, the proportion of elderly persons within most populations will increase. The increased longevity of the elderly population entails an increase in the burden of disabilities (Crimmins et al., 1997). In Australia, elderly populations have increased disproportionately in coastal areas where the risk of flooding may increase (Curson, 1995).
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