This week’s model essay is a simple positive or negative style question on the topic of an ageing population.
This type of question could be written using the 5-paragraph model, which answers with only positive or negative ideas. However, we have chosen to write a more balanced 4-paragraph essay that addresses both sides.
The essay is structured as follows…
Introduction: containing the main ideas
1st Body Paragraph: outlining negative consequences
2nd Body Paragraph: focusing on the positive
Conclusion: paraphrases our position and the topic sentences
IELTS Practice Question
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
For the first time in history there are more people over 64 than children younger than 5.
Is this a positive or negative development?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Mock IELTS Task 2 Answer
An ageing population is likely to be a negative development in many societies unless both governments and individuals make some changes to policy and behaviour. When the number of people needing care increases, so too does the risk that too few people are contributing to the costs of providing that care. Also of concern is the quality of life in our older years; while we may well be living longer lives as a society, we’re not necessarily living healthier ones. Both of these issues can, however, be addressed.
The most pressing difficulty in an ageing population is that older people have more significant care needs, and the responsibility falls largely to a welfare system funded by working-age people. The system is therefore dependent on at least as many people entering the workforce as are leaving it – which isn’t currently happening. At the same time, many people are living longer but are spending their later years in poor health, as is evidenced by the rapid rise in diagnoses of long-term conditions such as Type 2 diabetes. The resulting healthcare costs are further burdening an already strained system.
It isn’t, though, all bad news. Nations in need of more working-age people can capitalise on population growth in less developed parts of the world to address labour shortages and fund their welfare states. Japan, for example, is already adopting this approach. For individuals, meanwhile, behaviour change is often all that is required to live a longer and healthier life, reducing the likelihood of hospital admissions and enabling more people to remain in the workforce. Digital health tools make such changes more accessible than ever.
In conclusion, an ageing population could potentially create societal problems. However, there is a clear way forward in filling labour market gaps and facilitating positive lifestyle changes.
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