The map above, produced by the Bank of America, shows in bright pink the sections of the world where more than 20% of the population are over 65.  In 2010 only Italy, Germany and Japan are shaded bright pink.  But, as you can see, the pink sections of the map grow dramatically by 2100 to include much of the world.  

The number of people over the age of 60 is expected to double from 841 million in 2013, to over 2 billion by 2050, according to UN figures.  Unfortunately this is accompanied by falling global birth rates to below even replacement level in many countries.  Incredibly, the number of people over the age of 60 is set to exceed the number of children for the first time, by 2047.

The Business Insider Australia published the map, showing an increasing awareness among financial and business communities of this issue.  It does mention that, on the plusside, the baby boomers are expected to have high spending power which will hopefully create jobs in various industries. Retirement villages, financial planning, podiatristry and other such services required by the aging are all good industries to be in! However, the business news source also warns that longevity risk is hugely underestimated.

There is no quick fix to turn around this demographic outlook.  However, be thankful to those working hard to raise young families that will hopefully be able to help where help is needed within our future economies. Encourage a culture of family and communities which support them. Too many countries, such as Japan, are getting too caught up in corporate cultures which make little room for this, whether the reasons be cultural, financial or simply preference.

Shannon Roberts

Shannon Roberts is co-editor of MercatorNet's blog on population issues, Demography is Destiny. While she has a background as a barrister, writing has been a life-long passion and she has contributed...