New Report Offers Details of Global Aging Phenomenon
The world's older population continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Today, 8.5% of people worldwide (617 million) are aged 65 and over. According to a new report, "An Aging World: 2015," this percentage is projected to jump to nearly 17% of the world's population by 2050 (1.6 billion).
"An Aging World: 2015" was commissioned by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and produced by the US Census Bureau. The report examines the demographic, health and socioeconomic trends accompanying the growth of the aging population.
"Older people are a rapidly growing proportion of the world's population," says NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, MD. "People are living longer, but that does not necessarily mean that they are living healthier. The increase in our aging population presents many opportunities and also several public health challenges that we need to prepare for. NIA has partnered with Census to provide the best possible data so that we can better understand the course and implications of population aging."
"An Aging World: 2015" contains detailed information about life expectancy, gender balance, health, mortality, disability, health care systems, labor force participation and retirement, pensions, and poverty among older people around the world.
"We are seeing population aging in every country in every part of the world," says John Haaga, PhD, acting director of NIA's Division of Behavioral and Social Research. "Many countries in Europe and Asia are further along in the process, or moving more rapidly, than we are in the United States. Since population aging affects so many aspects of public life—acute and long-term health care needs; pensions, work and retirement; transportation; housing—there is a lot of potential for learning from each other's experience."
Highlights of the report include:
The report was prepared by Wan He, PhD, and Daniel Goodkind, PhD, of the International Programs Center in the Population Division of the Census Bureau, and Paul Kowal, PhD, of the World Health Organization's Study on Global Aging and Adult Health. Research for and production of the report were supported under an interagency agreement with NIA's Division of Behavioral and Social Research.