​Elderly Population Exploding With Global Numbers Doubling By 2050

Elderly Population Exploding
Author: Kara GilmourBy:
Staff Reporter
Mar. 29, 2016

The elderly population is exploding, with the number of people aged 65 and over expected to more than double by 2050, a study has found. It’s an interesting study and outlook of how people are living longer lifespans.

The global population is aging at an unprecedented rate with 8.5 per cent of people worldwide - or more than 600 million - now aged 65 and over, the report from the US Census Bureau showed, Yahoo News reports.

If the trend continues, then nearly 17 percent of the global population - 1.6 billion people - will be in the 65-and-over age bracket by 2050.

Commenting on the findings, an expert said the exploding numbers of senior citizens could present “public health challenges.”

The report, called “An Aging World: 2015” found that by 2050, global life expectancy at birth is projected to increase by almost eight years, from 68.6 years in 2015 to 76.2 years. The global population of the “oldest old” - people aged 80 and older - is expected to more than triple between 2015 and 2050, from 126.5 million to 446.6 million.

In some Asian and Latin American countries, the elderly is predicted to quadruple in the next 34 years. The report examines the health and socioeconomic trends accompanying the growth of the aging population. It contains information about life expectancy, gender, health, mortality, disability, health care systems, working patterns, retirement, pensions and poverty among older people around the world.

Among the senior generations worldwide, noncommunicable diseases - chronic diseases that are not passed on from person to person - are the main health concern. These include heart attacks and stroke, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.

In low-income countries, many in Africa, the older population faces both noncommunicable and communicable diseases including HIV and malaria. The report also identified a number of risk factors contributing to the global burden of disease. These included tobacco and alcohol use, lack of fruit and vegetables, and low levels of physical activity.

In high income countries, smoking rates are declining, with the majority of smokers now living in low- and middle-income countries, the report found.

“People are living longer, but that does not necessarily mean that they are living healthier,” Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA), which commissioned the report said. “The increase in our aging population presents many opportunities and also several public health challenges that we need to prepare for. VIA has partnered with census to provide the best possible data so that we can better understand the course and implications of population aging.”

Experts suggest that since populating aging affects so many aspects of public life acute and long-term health care needs; pensions, work and retirement; transportation; housing - there is a lot of potential for learning from each other’s experience.

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