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World Population Ageing:  1950-2050

United Nations Population Division / United Nations Population Division , 2002

Cover of World Population Ageing: 1950-2050

This report was prepared by the Population Division as a contribution to the 2002 World Assembly on Ageing and its follow-up.  The report provides a description of global trends in population ageing and includes a series of indicators of the ageing process by development regions, major areas, regions and countries.  The report shows that:

  Population ageing is unprecedented, without parallel in human history—and the twenty-first century will witness even more rapid ageing than did the century just past.

  Population ageing is pervasive, a global phenomenon affecting every man, woman and child—but countries are at very different stages of the process, and the pace of change differs greatly.  Countries that started the process later will have less time to adjust.

  Population ageing is enduring:  we will not return to the young populations that our ancestors knew. 

  Population ageing has profound implications for many facets of human life.

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Sources, Methods, Classifications & Explanatory notes

Executive Summary

(web only)


Chapter I: Demographic determinants of population ageing

Chapter II: Magnitude and speed of population ageing

Chapter III: The changing balance between age groups

Chapter IV: Demographic profile of the older population

Chapter V: Socio-economic characteristics of the older population




I. Definition of the indicators of population ageing

II. Classification of major areas and regions

III. Profiles of ageing

Major areas and regions

Countries or areas

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