More pensioners than children by 2050

According to a new report, there will be more pensioners around the world than children by 2050. This will present major challenges, not only to healthcare systems, but also to the workforce, housing and intergenerational relationships. The report, from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), says the global population of over 50s will exceed the number of under 15s by 2050 reports

Today, nearly two in three people aged 60 or more, live in developing countries. By 2050 this is forecast to rise to nearly four in five. The UNFPA says the trend of aging populations presents huge challenges as it requires “completely new” approaches to health care, retirement, living arrangements and intergenerational relations.

In 2000, for the first time, there were more people over 60 then children under five. In 10 years time, the number of people over 60 will surpass 1 billion, an increase of approximately 200 million people over the decade. This population aging is happening fastest in poorer countries. Declining birth rates and increased longevity are the causes of aging populations.

“Social protection floors must be implemented in order to guarantee income security and access to essential health and social services for all older persons and provide a safety net that contributes to the postponement of disability and prevention of impoverishment in old age,” the report said.

The report highlights financial security and health care as the major concerns for older people. Meeting these concerns is a challenge for governments especially in this time of economic uncertainty.

“The social and economic implications of this phenomenon are profound, extending far beyond the individual older person and the immediate family, touching broader society and the global community in unprecedented ways,” wrote Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, in the report’s preface.

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