These Are The World’s Oldest Populations

According to the United Nations Population Division, Asia, particularly countries like South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong, leads the world in having the oldest populations.

These Are The World's Oldest Populations 1

After the UN observed World Day of Social Justice on February 20, Felix Richter of Statista examines one of the major issues the world will confront in the ensuing decades: the slow but mostly irreversible population change. The United Nations Population Division projects that the number of people 65 and older will double over the next three decades, reaching 1.6 billion by 2050.

Asia is leading the way in this trend, as the accompanying graphic demonstrates. South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong are predicted to have the largest proportion of the population 65 and older by 2050.

These Are The World's Oldest Populations 2

While Japan is well-known for having an aging population and is now at the top of the list, other Asian economies are undergoing a dramatic change due to the continuous rise in life expectancy over the past several decades.

Africa’s population density patterns have been visualized using data from the Gridded Population of the World dataset provided by The Center for International Earth Science Information Network.

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The percentage of the elderly in South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong is predicted to reach 40 percent by 2050. This is far higher than the rates currently seen in highly developed nations, where the percentage of older persons is in the low 20s.

In its World Social Report 2023, the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs describes population aging as a “major success story” that presents both opportunities and problems, stating that it is a “defining global trend of our time.”

Ensuring that the economy can support the consumption needs of an increasing number of older people is one of the main challenges facing countries whose populations are aging. This can be achieved in a few different ways, such as by raising the legal retirement age, removing obstacles to older people’s voluntary labor force participation, or guaranteeing equal access to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities throughout life, all of which can contribute to greater financial security as people age.

Planning ahead and putting the appropriate measures in place early on can help countries facing the issues of an aging population—like mass depopulation—manage them efficiently. This is especially true for those who are still in the early phases of the demographic shift.

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