Skip to content

Facing the facts: the truth about ageing and development

Age International's flagship publication 'Facing the facts: the truth about ageing and development' brings together 25 high profile thought leaders, development experts and academics to discuss the impact of an ageing world on international development. For development to succeed, it is crucial that we leave no one behind.

Get the full report

Get the summary

It's time to face the facts of ageing and development

There are currently 928m older people in the world. By 2050, this will have reached more than 2bn.

As a group, there is no question that older people have been left behind in policy and practice. They simply are not counted. As a group, older people have unique vulnerablities; they are also uniquely valuable to society. Unless we make older people integral to our development efforts, we risk pushing them further into the margins, creating greater inequality and discrimination based on age. Equally important, we will not benefit from what older people have to offer.

The success of the world's future development depends on how we respond to ageing.

What does the report include?

  • Challenging preconceptions about ageing
  • Understanding health and care needs
  • Recognising that ageing is about more than older people
  • Taking action


'We need to see ageing, not as a burden, but as a triumph of development'

Mark Gorman MBE, Director of Strategic Development at HelpAge International, speaking about ageing as a development fact.

'Older people's health is worth investing in'

Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), speaking about healthy ageing as vital to social and economic development.

'Older people... are often not respected as they have been in the past'

Mary Robinson, member of The Elders, speaking about experience, dignity and respect. 

'The needs of older people are different from those of children or the more able-bodied'

Sir Brendan Gormley KCMG MBE, International development consultant, speaking about older people in emergencies. 

How can I use this report?

We hope that this publication will help you to understand the importance of facing the facts about global ageing and international development and, in turn, help you to decide how to respond to the benefits and challenges this worldwide phenomenon brings.

The world is ageing. The message that resonates throughout the report is that older people have a right to be valued for who they are, have needs that must be taken into account and are a global asset, making contributions to their families and communities that need to be recognised and supported.


If you would like to know more about this publication, please contact our Political & Policy Adviser, Ken Bluestone.

Get our email updates

We’d like to keep in touch with you by email to let you know about the vital work we do for older people, our appeals, our products and services and how you can support us.

“Age International”; “we”; or “us” means the Age UK Network which includes Age UK’s group of companies and national partners (Cymru, Scotland and NI). We also work closely with local Age UKs. You can change your mind at any time by emailing or calling 0800 032 0699. Please see our privacy policy for further information on how your data is used and stored. We will never sell your data.

Explore our site

100-year-old Kulle

Help older Rohingya

Please help older refugees with life-saving aid Donate now...

Joesph in his shop

Make a regular gift

Change the life of an older person like Joseph Learn more...

Director's message

We are committed to ensuring people's safety & wellbeing Read his statement...

Getting married at 75

Alexandra Barrantes explores suprise benefits to pensions Read their story...