Global Ageing

The following information is from HelpAge International, an IAHSA International Partner 

The world is ageing

  • Ageing is a triumph of our times – a product of improved public health, sanitation and development. Yet over 100 million older people live on less than a dollar a day.
  • Today, 1 in 10 people are over the age of 60.  By 2050, one in five people will be over 60.
  • The increasing share of older people in the world’s population results from a combination of massively increased life expectancy and reduced fertility. Total fertility is expected to decline from 2.82 children per woman in 1995-2000 to 2.15 children per woman in 2045-2050. Life expectancy worldwide is expected to increase by 11 years from 65 in 1995-2000 to 76 in 2045-2050, despite the impact of HIV/AIDS.

 IAHSAweb7Most of the world's older people live in developing countries

  • Even in the poorest countries, life expectancy is increasing and the number of older people is growing. In 2000, there were 374 million people over 60 in developing countries – 62% of the world's older people.
  • By 2025, 57% of the world's population 80 years or older will be living in developing countries
  • In every region, the rate of population increase for the 65 and over age group is higher than for the under-14 age group and the 15-64 age group.

Many older people in developing countries live in poverty

  • Poverty rates in households with older people are up to 29% higher than in households without.
  • 70% of all older people live in low or middle-income countries.
  • At best, older people live on between a third and a half of average incomes
  • Lack of food is a serious cause of ill health in older people.
  • Older widows are among the poorest and most vulnerable groups in developing countries.

Older women outnumber older men

  • In 2012, there were 71 men for every 100 women over 60 in developed countries, and only 44 men per 100 women over the age of 80.
  • In developing countries, women are expected to make up an increasing share of the older population. However, this gap is increasing due to increased life expectancy.

Ageing with HIV/AIDS

  • In the U.S., 11% of new HIV infections occur among persons 50 years or older 
  • Older people are the primary carers for orphaned and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS and those living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Discrimination, ignorance and poor clinical treatment continues to ensue for ageing persons with AIDS
  • Many health systems are not ready to cope with the influx of ageing HIV-positive people requiring medication and care