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The pie charts detail the proportion of people’s total expenditure on six different goods and services (housing, clothing, entertainment, food, travel/transport, and luxury goods), in a European country, in 1958 and 2008.

It is clear from the charts that spending in all aspects, except clothing, changed quite substantially over the fifty year period.

In 1958, people spent the largest portion of their spending on food, at 32%. The two other categories that took up the majority of people’s money were housing, at 22%, and clothing at 18%. Entertainment, travel/transport and luxury goods only comprised around a quarter of all spending at 18%, 8% and &% respectively.

50 years later spending changed quite significantly with housing now becoming the biggest expense and taking up almost one third of total spending, at 32%. The expenditure on clothing, transport/travel and luxury goods all increased and all took up around 16-17% of the total spending. The expenditure on food dropped significantly to 12%, while entertainment costs were only half of that.

(167 words)

People in the modern world are experiencing a longer life expectancy, which raises questions as to whether this is advantageous or disadvantageous to society. This essay will discuss both sides of the argument.

On the one hand, an ageing population increases the government’s pension costs and competition for jobs. An increase in the proportion of the elderly in the population puts greater pressure on the pension system as it will be harder to finance their retirement. This results in the growing burden on the Government and, therefore, taxpayers. Even more problematic is when the legal retirement age is extended, young people will find it more challenging to seek employment. Due to this lack of young labor, less innovation and change will take place, making organizations less dynamic and hardly able to stay competitive.

On the other hand, the main advantage of people living longer is that there will be more volunteers in social work. The elderly in many countries contribute free labor to community and government projects after retirement because they are usually financially comfortable and find pleasure in giving back to their communities and countries. Furthermore, the elderly can uphold morals and values in a community. They can help pass on traditions and ways of life to younger generations, which is particularly advantageous in countries like Vietnam, where cultural values are becoming less and less significant to young people.

In my view, it is true that there are several problems associated with an ageing population; however, those problems only do a little damage to the development of society. I personally think when people live longer, society as a whole will be able to reap greater benefits.


(277 words)