Population ageing and sustainable development

Topic Selected: Population and Migration

General Article icon Type: General Article

Global ageing to accelerate in the coming decades

The percentage of the global population aged 60 years or over increased from 8.5 per cent in 1980 to 12.3 per cent in 2015 and is projected to rise further to 21.5 per cent in 2050 (1).

Out of 233 countries or areas, 191 (82 per cent) experienced increases in the proportion of older persons between 1980 and 2015. 231 countries or areas (99 per cent) are expected to see an increase in the proportion aged 60 or over between 2015 and 2050.

Population ageing is a phenomenon that results from declines in fertility as well as increases in longevity, two trends that are usually associated with social and economic development.

Europe was the first region to enter the demographic transition, having begun the shift to lower fertility and increasing longevity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a result, today’s European population is the most aged in the world, with 24 per cent of the population ag

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