THE EMERGENCE OF MASTERS SPORT: Participatory trends and historical developments
Global population aging is a function of two factors: decreased fertility rates and improvements in health and longevity. Until the mid-1960s, the fertility rate in Canada was equal to three children or more per woman. Since that time, the fertility rate has experienced a rapid decline, sitting below the rate for natural replacement of the population for the last 30 years (Health Canada, 2002). Similar trends exist in many westernized countries, and, most surprisingly, this trend is seen in 44 per cent of less developed nations. The demographics of the global population will continue to change. The United Nations estimates that in 2017, the percentage of the population over 65 years of age will exceed the percentage of the population under five years of age, a shift that is expected to continue for many decades to come (United Nations, 2005).