Global Economics

Fear of a Gray Planet


Earth’s golden years are upon us. There were about 810 million people aged 60 or older worldwide in 2012, and their number is projected to grow to more than 2 billion by 2050. At that point seniors will outnumber children (0 to 14 years) for the first time in history. As expected, nations with large aging populations will see more of the same: Today 32 percent of Japan’s population is at least 60 years old, and that proportion will grow to a world-record 41 percent by 2050. You can expect every country to stoop and shuffle a bit more, with the sole exception of Zambia: There the over-60 count will decline by 20 percent in the next 38 years.

Data: United Nations
Daniel is graphics director for Bloomberg Businessweek. Follow her on Twitter @jenniferdaniel.

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