Wednesday, July 29, 2009

old population surpasses young

Guardian | The world is about to cross a demographic landmark of huge social and economic importance, with the proportion of the global population 65 and over set to outnumber children under five for the first time.

A new report by the US census bureau highlights a huge shift towards not just an ageing but an old population, with formidable consequences for rich and poor nations alike. The transformation carries with it challenges for families and policymakers, ranging from how to care for older people living alone to how to pay for unprecedented numbers of pensioners – more than 1 billion of them by 2040.

The report, An Ageing World: 2008, shows that within 10 years older people will outnumber children for the first time. It forecasts that over the next 30 years the number of over-65s is expected to almost double, from 506 million in 2008 to 1.3 billion – a leap from 7% of the world's population to 14%. Already, the number of people in the world 65 and over is increasing at an average of 870,000 each month.

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