Visualizing the World’s Growing Senior Population

April 5, 2024

As people live longer and healthier lives, a great demographic shift is taking place across the world. In recent decades, the number of people over the age of 65 has swelled and is expected to continue growing.

In 1980, there were 113 million individuals in North America and Europe over the age of 65. By 2021, that figure had grown to 208 million, and the UN estimates that by 2050, there will be more than 300 million senior citizens in North America and Europe. Which is nothing compared to the growth Asia is expected to see in its senior population.

The infographic below from Visual Capitalist breaks down the growth that the global senior population has seen over the past 40 years and where it is likely to be in a quarter century:

Map visualizing the size of the global senior population.

The growing rank of senior citizens may pose social and economic problems. Everything from pension plans and Social Security to the healthcare and long-term care industry will need to adapt in order to accommodate a much larger senior population.

It is not just that the senior population is growing in absolute terms as the world’s population grows, but the portion of the world’s population over the age of 65 is growing. As of 2022, the over-65 population of the world represented roughly 10% of the world’s population. By 2050, that portion is expected to be 16%, and the UN estimates that by the end of the century, 25%, or one-in-four, of the planet’s population will be over the age of 65.

World's Aging Population


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