Ageing World and Europe
According to the latest data, one in six people in the world will be over age 65 (16%), up from one in 11 in 2019 (9%). By 2050, one in four persons living in Europe and Northern America could be aged 65 or over. In 2018, for the first time in history, persons aged 65 or above outnumbered children under five years of age globally. The number of people aged 80 years or over is projected to triple, from 143 million in 2019 to 426 million in 2050.
In Europe, people aged 50+ already represent 37 per cent of the population, i.e. 190 million citizens. The number of people aged 60+ will increase by about two million persons each year in the coming decades, while the working-age population will start to shrink. The number of very old persons, 80 years and older, who are most likely in need of care, will also increase. More human beings than before also live alone and have lived alone their whole life. Especially this phenomenon is to be seen in the big cities. Across 143 countries or areas with available data, the proportion of persons aged 60 or over who live “independently” – alone or with a spouse only – varied widely, ranging from a low of 2.3 per cent in Afghanistan to a high of 93.4 per cent in the Netherlands.
As the average age of populations continues to rise, governments should implement policies to address the needs and interests of older persons, including those related to housing, employment, health care, social protection, and other forms of intergenerational solidarity. By anticipating this demographic shift, countries can proactively enact policies to adapt to an ageing population, which will be essential to fulfil the pledge of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that “no one will be left behind”. Because more ageing human beings live alone, it sets special demands also to the usability of public transportation.
Age structure in partner cities participating in the GreenSAM project. When the rage over 65 years old town dwellers is from Aarhus 14,5 % to Riga 26 %. In follower cities, the population over 65 years citizens is from Oslo 12,6 % to Gdynia 21.5 %.
The city of Hamburg does not differ from other cities especially in West Germany. In East Germany, the population also in the cities (except Berlin) is older. The share of the aged population is stable over the past five years. Aarhus is generally younger than the national population. The share of the population above 65 years of age on a national level is 19 per cent. Between 55 and 66 it is 12 per cent on the national level. In Riga, there are no differences nationwide (among the cities/regions). However, society ages rapidly due to the high emigration rate of young people and extremely low birth rates. Tartu is a university city and the population is younger than in the other cities in Estonia. The percentage of senior citizens (65+) in Turku is 20.6 per cent; this matches the nation-wide percentage of senior citizens that is 21.4 per cent. Turku, as the whole of Finland, has an ageing population and the share of senior citizens is growing rapidly. According to population projections, the amount of 65+ year-olds in Finland will grow to 25.6 per cent by 2030. The share of senior citizens can be expected to grow at a similar rate in Turku. Polish society, similarly, to contemporary European societies, is characterized by dynamic changes in the demographic structure of the population. Gdansk is in the same situation. Eurostat data show that in 2020 people over 60 years of age will constitute nearly 25 per cent of the population of Polish society. According to demographic estimates and projections, the share of the aged population in Poland will be growing quite rapidly: Now 65+ constitute 14 per cent; in 2020, 18 per cent; in 2035, 23 per cent.
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