Our world is rapidly aging. Until recently, the over 65 demographic comprised just a fraction of the world's population – not more than 5 percent in any given country. But the greater longevity in the 20th century has added three decades to life, and, combined with a 59 percent decrease in world fertility between 1950 and 2050, a drastic shift in age demographics is upon us.
In 2000, the number of people aged 60 and over was 650 million. By 2020 there will be 1 billion of us on the planet over 60, and 2 billion by 2050. At this time, roughly one-third of the global population will be in the category traditionally considered "elderly," and for the first time in history, this group will outnumber children.
Multiple organizations worldwide are developing research and programs and interpreting data to better understand the aging challenges before us. On the following pages, you will find data and resources to expand your understanding of global aging – from both our member organizations and other noted authorities.