Facts on ageing and the life course

September 2011

The ageing of the world’s population – in developing and developed countries – is an indicator of improving global health. The world’s elderly population – people 60 years of age and older – is 650 million. By 2050, the “greying” population is forecast to reach 2 billion.

Along with this positive trend, however, come special health challenges for the 21st century. Preparing health providers and societies to meet the needs of older populations is essential: training for health professionals on old-age care; preventing and managing age-associated chronic diseases; designing sustainable policies on long-term and palliative care; and developing age-friendly services and settings.

World Health Organisation retreived 12 January 2012