6 May 2021
The Silver Economy is proving to be a fantastic opportunity for growth and development for Italy’s seniors. Society is changing, and with this change comes a seismic shift in the notion of “the elderly”. Far from a vulnerable segment of the population, senior citizens are now seen as a great resource, one that should be offered policies that meet their needs. Viewed conscientiously, the Silver Economy is aimed at various industries ranging from drug manufacturers to healthcare, from arts, culture, and leisure to tourism and travel, not to mention household automation, banking, insurance, and last but not least – food and dining. A slice of the economy with increasing appeal, and increasingly tailored to the needs of senior citizens. It is through this approach – one that we might call a “dedicated supply system” – which 23rd March last led to the formation of an inter-parliamentary working group with a single goal: vetting legislative initiatives geared towards the over-65’s in Italy.
THE BIRTH OF THE PARLIAMENTARY WORKING GROUP
The role of this new legislative working group, which now boasts a number of members of parliament and senators, intends to listen to the needs of senior citizens, welcome their input and requests, and propose legislative initiatives geared toward supporting the needs of the over-65’s with targeted policies that might either fill gaps in legislation, or generate benefits for a vast array of potential beneficiaries, totalling over 13 million users, and representing approximately 22.8% of the Italian population (data from research conducted by Tendercapital and CENSIS).
THE OVER 65’s IN ITALY
All demographic projections now converge on the same statistic: between 2050 and 2070, the human population will be larger and older than it is today. Italy has the highest percentage of over-65s in all of Europe, with a growth rate of 1.8 million persons over the last ten years, with 13.5% higher wealth than the average Italian. According to Tendercapital and CENSIS research, over 7.6 million senior citizens supply money to their children’s families and/or grandchildren, and 1.7 million of these do so routinely. This latter statistic became all the more evident during the pandemic when our over-65 citizens became, in many cases, a kind of social safety net for their own children and/or grandchildren hit by the economic crisis generated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
SILVER ECONOMY AS A DRIVER FOR DEVELOPMENT
The Silver Economy is an incredible opportunity for development that has not yet reached its full potential. To allow it to become a new driver for development, we need to stop casting the current demographic revolution as a drain on the community. Instead, we need to invest in legislative, social, and economic conditions that meet the needs of a market that is growing from year to year, and which offers a vast amount of untapped potential.