UNDESA DSPD Ageing

Data and Statistics

A - Demographics

The number of persons aged 60 and over has been increasing at an unprecedented rate. In the last 30 years the number of people in the world aged 60 or above as doubled and it is projected to more than double again by 2050, time by which older persons will outnumber children (persons aged 0 to 14 years). Although the older population is growing in all parts of the world, most of the increase is taking place in the developing world. In terms of living arrangements, multigenerational households traditionally have provided the main social context for sharing of family resources and mutual support as needs arise over the life course. However those traditional living arrangements have been changing, particularly in developed regions.(see charts)

 

B - Living conditions

Data on old-age poverty is limited due to infrequency with which poverty measures are disaggregated by age and gender. However, when available, data shows that poverty among older persons tend to be higher than for the rest of the population. Additionally, the relative risk of old-age poverty is in general also higher than for the rest of the population, depending on the level and coverage of old-age safety-net programmes. Economic conditions and retirement policies both play also an important role, as for many older people employment still provides the income needed to escape extreme poverty.(see charts)