These figures come from the world population estimates and projections released today through the Census Bureau's International Data Base. This latest update includes projections by age, including people 100 and older, for 227 countries and areas.
Less than 8 percent of the world's population is 65 and older. By 2030, the world's population 65 and older is expected to reach 12 percent, and by 2050, that share is expected to grow to 16 percent.
"This shift in the age structure of the world's population poses challenges to society, families, businesses, health care providers and policymakers to meet the needs of aging individuals," said
From 2009 to 2050, the world's 85 and older population is projected to increase more than fivefold, from 40 million to 219 million. Because women generally live longer than men, they account for slightly more than half of the older population and represent nearly two-thirds of the 85 and older population.
Countries experiencing relatively rapid declines in fertility combined with longer life spans will face increasingly older populations. These countries will see the highest growth rates in their older populations over the next 40 years.
There are four countries with 20 percent or more of their population 65 and older:
The International Data Base offers a variety of demographic indicators for countries and areas of the world with populations of 5,000 or more. It provides information on population size and growth, age and sex composition, mortality, fertility and net migration.
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