Facts about our aging population

Fact #502: By 2025, one in five Europeans will be more than 65 years old, up from 16 percent in 2002. Across the European continent, the number of working-age citizens will stagnate or shrink while the number of retirees explodes. As a result, household financial wealth, which had enjoyed steady, healthy growth during past decades, will slow drastically over the next 20 years, according to new research by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).

Fact #503: Japan is getting much older. By 2024, more than a third of the population will be over age 65—one of the developed world’s largest proportions of elderly citizens. Retired households will outnumber households in their prime saving years, so savings rates will fall drastically. (Source: McKinsey Quarterly)

Fact #504:  In just two decades, the proportion of people aged 80 and above will be more than 2.5 times higher than it is today, because women are having fewer children and people are living longer. In about a third of the world’s countries, and in the vast majority of developed nations, the fertility rate is at, or below, the level needed to maintain the population. Women in Italy now average just 1.2 children. In the United Kingdom, the figure is 1.6; in Germany, 1.4; and in Japan, 1.3. Meanwhile, thanks to improvements in health care and living conditions, average life expectancy has increased from 46 years in 1950 to 66 years today.

(Source: The State of World Population, 1999 and 2004, United Nations Population Fund.)

Fact #505: One out of every ten persons is now 60 years or above; by 2050, one out of five will be 60 years or older; and by 2150, one out of three persons will be 60 years or older.

(Source: The Aging of the World’s Population, United Nations)

Fact #506:  The older population itself is ageing. The oldest old (80 years or older) is the fastest growing segment of the older population. They currently make up 11 percent of the 60+ age group and will grow to 19 percent by 2050. The number of centenarians (aged 100 years or older) is projected to increase 15-fold from approximately 145,000 in 1999 to 2.2 million by 2050.  (Source: The Aging of the World’s Population, United Nations)

For more facts about The Perfect Labor Storm, visit http://https://www.perfectlaborstorm.com

Fact #507: The impact of population ageing is increasingly evident in the old-age dependency ratio, the number of working age persons (age 15 – 64 years) per older person (65 years or older) that is used as an indicator of the ‘dependency burden’ on potential workers. Between 2000 and 2050, the old-age dependency ratio will double in more developed regions and triple in less developed regions. The potential socioeconomic impact on society that may result from an increasing old-age dependency ratio is an area of growing research and public debate.
(Source: The Aging of the World’s Population, United Nations)

Fact #508:  In urban China, the problem of elder dependency on a shrinking family is particularly severe (since there are usually no public or private retirement funds). It is referred to as the “4-2-1 phenomenon”: Four elderly grandparents, two retired parents, and one working child who is responsible for all of them.


Ira S Wolfe