The Global Senior Population Aged 65+
Published date : 15 April 2024

The Global Senior Population Aged 65+

In response to the global trend of longer and healthier lives, the population of seniors is on the rise, posing both economic and social challenges. The senior age group are largely out of the workforce, while taxing the healthcare system as they age and face illness. Recognizing this, the World Health Organization and the United Nations have dubbed the years 2021-2030 as the Decade of Healthy Ageing.

Europe, Northern America, Australia, New Zealand, Eastern and South-Eastern Asia are leading in population aging, with over 10% and in some cases, 20% of the population aged 65 or older. Conversely, sub-Saharan Africa is still in the early stages - with largely youthful populations. In 1980, the world was home to 260 million seniors; in 2021, that number has ballooned to 762 million. By 2050, the world is projected to house 1.6 billion seniors.

Not only is the senior population growing in absolute numbers worldwide, but it's also increasing as a proportion of the total population. In 2021, one in ten people globally were over 65, a figure expected to rise to one in six by 2050. Questions posed to governments and individuals around the world remain: do we currently run our countries, our healthcare systems and pension schemes in a sustainable manner, considering this massive adjustment of global demographics?

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