Currently, people ages 65 and older make up a little less than 9 percent of the population worldwide. A new report commissioned by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) claims the world’s senior population is expected to grow to around 17 percent by the year 2050. These projections have the number of Americans 65 and older growing from 48 million people to 88 million.
There are several reasons for this expected “boom” in the senior population. Science and medicine have allowed us to live with or cure many diseases that were once considered untreatable. Life expectancy continues to rise because of new discoveries. Currently, the average life expectancy worldwide is 68.6 years old. By 2050, experts expect that average age to be 76.2 years. In the next 30 years, the number of people age 80 and older could quadruple in some Asian and Latin American countries where life expectancy is slightly higher.
With a growing aging population, we will all need to focus on things like long-term healthcare needs, work, retirement, pensions, housing, transportation, and so many other senior needs as they age gracefully. With a population that ages beyond what we are currently used to, we will also likely see new healthcare concerns that will need to be addressed and figured out.