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IELTS 5 Test 1 Task 1

The line graph plots the ratios of the populations of Japan, Sweden and the USA aged at least 65, from 1940 to 2040. It shows that all three countries’ ratios will have risen over the period, and Japan will see the highest rise.

In 1940, the USA had the highest proportion at 9%, ahead of Sweden at 7%. Japan had the lowest at 5%. The USA then saw a gradual increase to 15% by 1982, and remained fairly constant until the present day. Sweden witnessed a similar trend; though from 1995 it started rising to surpass the USA before reaching 20% at the present time. In contrast, Japan saw a gradual decline until 1960, then a trough at 3% until 1988, after which it rose steadily to 7% — still well below the USA and Sweden.

From about 2017, the USA expects to see an exponential growth in their aged population to about 23% in 2040. Sweden’s ratio will decline slightly until 2025, before rising in parallel to the USA’s to reach 25%. Japan anticipates a rapid rise similar to the USA’s until the mid-2020s. It is then projected to skyrocket over the subsequent 5 years, surpassing both Sweden and the USA, before following a similar rising trend to theirs to 27%.

By 2040, the differences in the three countries’ ratios are projected to be similar to what they were 100 years earlier, albeit in the reverse order, with Japan’s as the highest and the USA’s the lowest.

(247 words)

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