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Global ageing

Wande Gibe, 90, from Tanzania has benefited from a programme focusing on community interventions to prevent witchcraft allegations and violent attacks against older women.

  • Today, 962 million people are over 60. [1]
  • 62% of people over 60 live in developing countries; by 2050 this number will have risen to 80% [2]
  • Over the last half century, life expectancy at birth has increased by almost 20 years. [3]
  • It is estimated that by 2050 there will be over 2 billion people aged 60 and over, more than twice the number measured in 2000. Almost 400 million of them will be aged 80+ [4]
  • 80% of older people in developing countries have no regular income [5]
  • Only 1 in 4 older people in low-and-middle income countries receive a pension. [6]
  • 26 million older people are affected by natural disasters every year. [7]
  • The prevalence of disability among persons under 18 years is 5.8%; among 65 to 74 years old, the rate increases to 44.6%; the rate climbs to 84.2% among people aged 85 and over. [8]
  • Nearly two-thirds of the 44.4 million people with dementia live in low and middle-income countries. [9]


  1. UN, Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division; World Population Prospects, key findings & advance tables; 2017 revision
  2. World Bank; Old Age Security and Social Pensions; page 2
  3. UNDESA World Population Ageing; 1950 – 2050; chapter 1: Demographic determinants of population ageing; page 6.
  4. World Health Organization; 10 facts on ageing and the lifecourse (2012); pop up box pages 1, 2, and 3.
  5. World Health Organization; Older persons in emergencies: considerations for action and policy development; page 11.
  6. Global AgeWatch Index 2014, Insight Report’, HelpAge International, 2014.
  7. Cambridge Scholars; Rebuilding Sustainable Communities with Vulnerable Populations after the Cameras Have Gone; page XXI.
  8. CODI; Age, Sex, Disability.
  9. Alzheimer’s Disease International; Dementia statistics.

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Last updated: Feb 09 2023

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