The world is aging rapidly. The global population was 6,514.33 million in 2005. This figure increased to 7,259.69 million in 2014. The global population grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.21% in this ten-year period. In the same time frame, the geriatric population (people of ages 65 years and over) grew from 473.93 million in 2005 to 588.13 million in 2014, at a CAGR of 2.43% – almost exactly double that of the overall population. The proportion of geriatric population to the total population increased from 7.28% in 2005 to 8.10% in 2014, at a CAGR of 1.20%. This may not seem like a large growth rate, but it’s important to contrast it with the other segments – the proportion of the non-geriatric population segment decreased at a rate of 0.1% every year in the same timeframe. Increasing lifespan and improved access to medical care are important reasons for the changing population structure. The evolving population structures are going weigh-in on the political and social conversations in all nations. Appropriate and adequate aged care structures are going to be an important part of the social support functions of all nations.

Aging Pattern Igea Luca DezzaniAging Pattern Igea Luca DezzaniAging Pattern Igea Luca Dezzani

Source: World Bank.

Between 2005 and 2014, the growth rate of the geriatric population was double that of the overall population. The proportion of the geriatric population segment increased from 7.28% in 2005 to 8.10% in 2014. Rapid aging is a common feature of the populations of most nations. However, the proportion and rates are vastly different.

Aging Pattern Igea Luca Dezzani

Source: World Bank.

China, India, and the U.S. had the largest populations in the 2014. The combined population of these big-3 nations was 41% of the global population.

Aging Pattern Igea Luca Dezzani

Source: World Bank.

However, the growth rates of the population in these three nations in vastly different. The population growth rate for India between 2005 and 2014 was 1.39% – higher than the global average of 1.21%. The growth rates for U.S. and China were 0.85% and 0.51% respectively.

Aging Pattern Igea Luca Dezzani

Source: World Bank.

The global geriatric population too had a similar profile as that of the global population – China, India, and U.S. are the top-3 nations with the highest number of people of ages 65 years and over.

Aging Pattern Igea Luca Dezzani

Source: World Bank.

However, the profile of the growth rates of the geriatric population was substantially different. Of the top-3 nation with the largest populations, India had the highest growth rate for its geriatric population. However, the growth rates of the geriatric population in China and U.S. too are higher than the global average. This indicates a higher disparity in the growth rates of the geriatric and overall population for these two nations. They are aging more rapidly than India.

Aging Pattern Igea Luca Dezzani

Source: World Bank.

In terms of proportion, Japan has the highest percentage people of ages 65 years and over. Close of 26% of its population was over the age of 64 years in 2014. Of the big-3, India had the lowest proportion. Just 5.49% of Indians were over the over the age of 64 years in 2014 – much lower than the global average of 8.10%. On the other hand, 14.39% of the population of the U.S. was over the age of 64 years in 2014.

Aging Pattern Igea Luca Dezzani

Source: World Bank.

However, the proportion is rapidly chaining in all three nations – the growth rates of the geriatric population as a proportion of the total population were higher than the global average for all of the big-3 nations, indicating rapid and substantial shit in their population structures.

The raw data for population, geriatric population, and proportion of geriatric population of 100 nations for all years between 2000 and 2014 can be downloaded here.

No. Region Total Population Geriatric Population Proportion of Geriatric Population
2014
(Million)
CAGR%
(2005–2014)
2014
(Million)
CAGR%
(2005–2014)
2014
(%)
CAGR%
(2005–2014)
  World 7,259.69 1.21 588.13 2.43 8.10 1.20
1 China 1,364.27 0.51 125.28 2.80 9.18 2.29
2 India 1,295.29 1.39 71.09 2.96 5.49 1.55
3 U.S. 318.86 0.85 45.88 2.60 14.39 1.74
4 Indonesia 254.45 1.31 13.00 2.02 5.11 0.70
5 Brazil 206.08 1.00 15.61 3.92 7.58 2.90
6 Pakistan 185.04 2.11 8.31 2.70 4.49 0.58
7 Nigeria 177.48 2.70 4.88 2.78 2.75 0.07
8 Bangladesh 159.08 1.20 7.88 2.93 4.96 1.71
9 Russia 143.82 0.02 19.03 -0.46 13.23 -0.48
10 Japan 127.13 -0.06 32.68 2.86 25.71 2.92
11 Mexico 125.39 1.49 7.91 3.38 6.31 1.86
12 Philippines 99.14 1.57 4.45 4.69 4.49 3.07
13 Ethiopia 96.96 2.65 3.35 3.89 3.45 1.21
14 Vietnam 90.73 1.08 6.01 1.14 6.62 0.07
15 Egypt 89.58 2.00 4.63 2.31 5.17 0.31
16 Germany 80.97 -0.20 17.06 1.05 21.07 1.26
17 Iran 78.14 1.21 3.88 1.30 4.97 0.09
18 Turkey 75.93 1.26 5.61 2.63 7.39 1.35
19 Congo 74.88 3.26 2.22 3.57 2.96 0.30
20 Thailand 67.73 0.31 6.83 3.35 10.08 3.03
21 France 66.22 0.52 12.36 1.82 18.67 1.29
22 U.K. 64.56 0.74 11.30 1.75 17.50 1.00
23 Italy 60.79 0.53 13.38 1.91 22.01 1.37
24 South Africa 54.00 1.47 2.72 2.44 5.03 0.95
25 Myanmar 53.44 0.74 2.80 1.54 5.24 0.79
26 Tanzania 51.82 3.19 1.65 3.99 3.19 0.77
27 South Korea 50.42 0.52 6.39 4.17 12.68 3.63
28 Colombia 47.79 1.11 3.23 4.14 6.76 3.00
29 Spain 46.48 0.70 8.57 1.86 18.44 1.15
30 Ukraine 45.36 -0.42 6.93 -0.88 15.28 -0.46
31 Kenya 44.86 2.68 1.24 2.68 2.76 -0.01
32 Argentina 42.98 1.04 4.65 1.80 10.81 0.75
33 Sudan 39.35 2.33 1.30 3.24 3.29 0.89
34 Algeria 38.93 1.76 2.26 3.48 5.80 1.69
35 Poland 38.01 -0.04 5.71 1.36 15.02 1.41
36 Uganda 37.78 3.37 0.94 3.05 2.50 -0.31
37 Canada 35.54 1.06 5.58 3.10 15.69 2.02
38 Iraq 34.81 2.86 1.06 1.74 3.06 -1.09
39 Morocco 33.92 1.23 2.06 1.83 6.08 0.60
40 Afghanistan 31.63 2.92 0.77 4.22 2.43 1.26
41 Peru 30.97 1.29 2.07 3.15 6.68 1.84
42 Saudi Arabia 30.89 2.49 0.86 2.35 2.79 -0.14
43 Uzbekistan 30.76 1.81 1.42 0.61 4.62 -1.18
44 Venezuela 30.69 1.53 1.87 4.07 6.10 2.50
45 Small states 30.26 1.52 1.60 2.39 5.29 0.86
46 Malaysia 29.90 1.65 1.70 4.33 5.67 2.63
47 Nepal 28.17 1.11 1.52 3.49 5.39 2.36
48 Mozambique 27.22 2.85 0.91 3.41 3.34 0.54
49 Ghana 26.79 2.53 0.92 2.67 3.43 0.14
50 Yemen 26.18 2.75 0.71 3.79 2.73 1.01

Source: World Bank.

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