How Global Aging Could Devastate World Economies
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By Theweek.com,
TheWeek.com
October 4, 2012

In many developed nations, aging populations are credited to rising standards of living and improved access to health care — and are thus treated as a "celebrated sign of progress," says Emily Alpert at the Los Angeles Times. But longer lifespans also create population booms of senior citizens that many governments are unprepared to deal with. According to a new United Nations report, within the next few decades, the global population of adults 60 or older will increase to nearly 2 billion. What kind of pressure will that place on overburdened countries unequipped to handle the load? Here, a brief look at our increasingly graying world population, by the numbers: 

12
Percentage of today's global population that is over age 60

22
Estimated percentage of 2050's global population that will be over age 60

810 million
Current global population of people 60 and up

1 billion
Estimated global population of people 60 and up 10 years from now

2 billion
Estimated global population of people 60 and up by 2050

One-third
Fraction of nations that currently have social protection plans for senior citizens

46
Percent of senior citizens who are living with disabilities

One-third
Fraction of seniors who have trouble getting health care when they need it

One-half
Fraction of seniors who have trouble paying for basic services

40
Percent of seniors who say they are afraid of personal violence

35.6 million
People around the world afflicted with dementia in 2010. That figure is projected to double every 20 years

$604 billion
Estimated cost of taking care of dementia patients worldwide

78
Life expectancy for seniors in developed countries

83
Life expectancy for seniors in developed countries by 2050

68 
Life expectancy for seniors in developing countries

74
Life expectancy for seniors in developing countries by 2050

2 out of 3
Seniors 60 or older who live in developing nations

4 out of 5
Seniors 60 or older who will live in developing countries by 2050

Sources: United Nations , CBS News, China Daily, CNN, Los Angeles Times, Mother Nature Network

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