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Population Aging: Facts, Challenges, and Responses – 2011 Skip to content

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Population Aging: Facts, Challenges, and Responses – 2011


Today, there are just fewer than 800 million people over the age of 60 globally. By 2050, that number is projected to increase to more than 2 billion. The Program on the Global Demography of Aging produced this report to outline current global trends in aging, highlight the main challenges created by such trends, and identify successful responses from business and government.

Key Points

This report details the global challenges created by an aging population and discusses effective proactive responses to prepare for such challenges. Due to increased life expectancy, declining fertility, and the aging of the Baby Boomers, the global population is facing unprecedented demographic makeup.

Other report highlights include:

  1. Anti-aging technology and healthier lifestyles, combined with increases in life expectancy, create a significantly larger working lifespan than in previous generations. Employees in non-manual labor jobs can reasonably be expected to work effectively into much older ages.
  2. One of the most widely cited fears about population aging is that unless the labor force participation of the elderly increases, there will be a crushing rise in elderly dependency; however, this will be offset by a decline in youth dependents.
  3. Other challenges created by the changing demographic makeup include an increase in noncommunicable disorders – heart disease, diabetes, etc. – and financial issues – asset depreciation and pension problems.
  4. Proactive planning by both governments and businesses can limit the negative impact of these issues moving forward. Creating less demanding schedules for older workers can increase both productivity and longevity, while public policy on pension plans and health care can help plan for these challenges.

How to Use

With such a unique demographic makeup on the horizon, it is essential that global leaders begin making necessary changes. Business leaders and policy makers alike can use this information to proactively plan for the changing demands of their populations and workforces.

View Full Report: Population Aging: Facts, Challenges, and Responses – 2011 (PDF – 162 KB)

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