Wensink, Christine

Project title: Increasing Life Expectancy in Spain and the Disregarded Socioeconomic Costs

Department: Peter B. Gustavson School of Business

Faculty supervisor: Prof. Komal Kalra

"My research paper focuses on an encouraging phenomenon; how life expectancy is continuing to increase as a world population. At first glance, the idea of having more time on earth is encouraging, allowing more time for people to witness advancements in technology, experience changes in culture, and most importantly spend time with loved ones. However, when explored more thoroughly, higher life expectancy also uncovers socioeconomic costs, which are often overlooked. For example, if people are living longer what impact does this have on pensions, retirement, healthcare, and other social programs. My paper is set to discuss the social, economic, and political implications increasing life expectancy has on a country, using Spain as a real-life example. Spain is predicted to be the country with the highest average life expectancy of male and females by 2030, surpassing Japan. Undoubtedly, Spaniards have a unique, lively culture, but what differentiates them from other nations in terms of longevity? Especially considering smoking is a widely accepted and everyday habit in Spain. In contrast, Canada has the twenty- sixth highest life expectancy rate in the world as of 2018. By comparing these two nations, I will evaluate the differences in life expectancy determinants, provide a theory to explain the variation in life expectancy, and finally propose viable actions Canada could emulate from Spain to prepare for such changes."