World Economic and Social Survey 2007

Development in an Ageing World — 60th Anniversary Edition, 1948-2007

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The World Economic and Social Survey 2007 analyses the challenges and opportunities associated with ageing populations and aims to facilitate discussions in furthering the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing which focuses on three sets of priorities: older people and development; advancing health and well-being into old age; and enabling and supportive environments for older persons. The Survey underscores the need to fully recognize and better harness the productive and social contributions to societies that older persons can make but are, in many instances, prevented from making.



An ageing world population

The age distribution of the world’s population is undergoing a profound and unprecedented transformation. As mortality and fertility have fallen, attaining in many parts of the world levels never before seen in human history, the age distribution has been shifting gradually to older ages in a process known as “population ageing”. The shift towards older ages is reflected in rising median ages of populations, increasing proportions of older persons and decreasing proportions of children. All regions of the world are experiencing this change, and those most advanced in the process are already facing the challenge of providing for the needs of a growing population of older persons.


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