In 2017, there was an estimated 962 million people aged 60 or over in the world, comprising 13 percent of the global population. The population aged 60 or above is growing at a rate of about 3 percent per year. Currently, Europe has the greatest percentage of population aged 60 or over (25 percent). Rapid aging will occur in other parts of the world as well, so that by 2050, all regions of the world except Africa will have nearly a quarter or more of their populations at ages 60 and above. The number of older people in the world is projected to be 1.4 billion in 2030 and 2.1 billion in 2050, and could rise to 3.1 billion in 2100.

Globally, the number of persons aged 80 or over is projected to triple by 2050, from 137 million in 2017 to 425 million in 2050. By 2100, it is expected to increase to 909 million, nearly seven times its value in 2017.

Older people are increasingly seen as contributors to development, whose abilities to act for the betterment of  themselves and their societies should be woven into policies and programs at all levels. In the coming decades, many countries are likely to face fiscal and political pressures in relation to public systems of health care, pensions, and social protections for a growing older population.

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