The world’s population is getting older

“The number of older persons has more than tripled since 1950; it will almost triple again by 2050”

According to the UN’s Population Division, we are living through a period of population ageing that is ‘without parallel in the history of humanity’. This process is a result of the combined effects of declining fertility and falling mortality rates.

Although population ageing is an reality in nearly all countries of the world, the trend is significantly stronger in more developed countries – the proportion of people aged 60 and over in developed countries is expected to rise to a third of the total in 2050, from around a fifth today.  Globally it will be around 21% of the total in 2050.


While the inescapable trend of global population ageing is creating some serious policy headaches for national governments, it can also give rise to some attractive opportunities for both businesses and investors. The most obvious example is healthcare. Although people are living longer than in the past, the functionality of the human body inevitably declines over time, thereby increasing demand for healthcare products and services.