Ageing population is a worldwide pattern. The population is getting older this has social, political and economic impact on all societies. New Zealand’s ageing population is a consequence of many factors. It raises many issues with the policies of New Zealand. The factors that contribute to New Zealands increase in elderly are clear. High fertility rates, low mortality rates and the ageing of the immigrants that came to New Zealand in the first two decades of the century. This demographic change is putting increasing demand on New Zealands social services.
Higher fertility rates occurred during the early nineteen hundreds. This is when most of today’s elderly were born. This period is referred to as the “Baby boomers”. “This is where an extra large cohort of people were born between 1946 –1962”. (Easton, 1980 p 71). Fertility now is on the decline and women are having on average one child less than in the 1950’s. This is causing a generation gap, between the youth, working-age and the elderly. “ Variation in fertility is usually regarded as the predominant cause of change in age structure.” (Heenan, 1993)
Immigration affects the elderly more than the younger age groups. As mentioned before that the majority of women live longer than men, this is also presenting problems as many choose to take up residence in private care. This has an impact on social policy it puts demand on New Zealands healthcare services, "Older people are the predominant users of community services" (Koopman-Boyden, 1993). The government has to increase its expenditures for things like HealthCare and welfare services, since the elderly are the highest users in this system. These issues such as fertility, immigration and low mortality rates will continue to increase New Zealands ageing population. Consequently ageing immigrants also brought about the change from a male dominant population to a female dominant population. It means the elderly person will become totally reliant on the state. This care costs, which the government seems to unable or unwillingly want to support. Dependency ratios for the number of elderly, (that is people sixty-five years and over), are on the rise. This means that the elderly depend on the HealthCare system. The elderly are now less likely to die from infectious and parasitic disease, and more likely, from acute disease that comes with old age. Census forms taken every five years in New Zealand are the current source of research, and these may predict that generational inequality can occur. "Historically immigration has always been important, and for a long period it to also regarded as the predominant, cause of population ageing in New Zealand.