Harnessing the Potential of Older People

In every continent and almost every country, our population is growing older. Increasing life expectancy, thanks to improved diets, better sanitation, medical advances and greater prosperity, as well as falling birth rates are altering the age profile of our societies at a remarkable rate. By 2000, for the first time in history, there were more people sharing our planet over 60 than under five. Such is the pace of change that, by 2050, the older generation will out-number those under 15.

It is in the most highly developed countries where these demographic changes started. But they are actually progressing fastest outside the richest nations. By 2050, the developing world will be home to eight out of ten of the world’s older people . This unprecedented silent revolution will clearly be one of the greatest forces shaping our societies over the coming decades. Yet, there is little sign so far that all the right policies and actions needed have been put in place to respond successfully to these challenges and create a world in which all generations can flourish.

It was to help identify what needs to happen that the UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, together with HelpAge International, produced a comprehensive report into the demographic changes under way. Our report — “Ageing in the Twenty-first Century: A Celebration and a Challenge” — draws not only on expert input from over 20 UN and international agencies and entities, but also the views of hundreds of older citizens from across the world.

To read more about it go here.


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