The data show that 82 countries are projected to have at least 20 percent of their population ages 65 and older in 2050 versus 13 countries in 2018.
The world population is aging, with variations by country. By midcentury, projections indicate that 16 percent of the world population will be ages 65 and older, up from 9 percent now. The percentage of people in this age bracket in the world’s more-developed countries is projected to reach 27 percent, up from 18 percent now, while the percentage of adults ages 65 an older in less-developed countries is projected to double to 14 percent.
Shifts in a country’s age structure over time can have important implications for a country’s economic and social trajectory, as well as its resource allocations and policy agendas. For example, many countries in the world are experiencing—and will continue to experience—steady increases in the number of older adults, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the total population. This trend poses challenges for countries in balancing the pension, health, and other benefits that older adults typically receive with investments in the well-being of younger generations. In addition, some countries may choose to incentivize older adults to remain in the work force longer.