World Population Ageing 2015

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Accurate, consistent and timely data on global trends in population age structure are critical for assessing current and future needs with respect to population ageing and for setting policy priorities to promote the well-being of the growing number and share of older persons in the population. This publication summarizes the trends in population ageing drawn from the latest United Nations estimates and projections of population by age and sex of 233 countries or areas, as published in World Population Prospects: the 2015 Revision. The report focuses in particular on the period from 2015 to 2030, the implementation period identified for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and discusses some implications of trends in the number and share of older persons for development planning, including with respect to poverty eradication and economic growth, social protection, and the health and well-being of older persons.



Demographic drivers of population ageing

The size and age composition of a population are determined jointly by three demographic processes: fertility, mortality and migration. Fertility levels and trends determine the size of each birth cohort; while mortality levels and trends determine what proportion of those cohorts eventually survive to old age. Age patterns of immigration and emigration also influence the age distribution of the population, although to a lesser extent than fertility and mortality in most countries. This chapter describes the relationships between the three main demographic processes and population ageing, drawing primarily upon United Nations population estimates and projections from World Population Prospects: the 2015 Revision.


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