the world's population has exploded in the last with 50 years with unprecedented growth that will catapult our numbers over the 7 billion mark this fall. but birthrates aren't up, longevity is. with life expectancy rising, a global aging trend - accompanied by social, economic and political consequences - is here to stay.
average life expectancy for a human being born today is 67.6 years. in 1950, it was 46.6 years; in 2050 , it will be 75.5.
people 60+ will outnumber those under 15 for the first time in 2045.
35.6 million people have dementia today, a number projected to grow to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million by 2050.
past & future:
earth is now home to some 7 billion people - that almost triple the population of 1950. by 2050, 60+ population will grow from over 750 million to 2 billion, and rise from 10.7% to 22% of people on the planet.
the ratio of women to men age 60+ is 100 to 83.
that means there are 66 million more women age 60+ than men in the world.
eighty percent of men age 60+ are married. but only 48% of older women are.
nineteen percent of older women live alone; just 9% of older men do.
this translates to 33 older men living without a spouse per 100 older women in the same situation.
today 64% of people 60+ live in less developed countries. by 2050, it will be 80%.
the number of older poor will grow from 342 million today to 1.2 billion in 2050.
people 65+ are more likely to be retired if living in a more developed country rather than a less developed one ( women 92% vs. 81%; men 86% vs. 65% ).
the number of people 100+ will increase 900% between now and 2050, from 455,000 to 4.1 million.
women make up 81% of the world's centenarians.
among those 60+, the fastest-growing population is the oldest old - that is, those age 80 and older. that group is growing 4% annually.
sources: united nations population division, u.s. census, national geographic, jan. 2011, world bank; alzheimer's disease international
october 2011: aarp.org/bulletin