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Population Demographics

Chapter 02 - Cancer Epidemiology

The global population was around 6.7 billion in 2014 and is expected to increase to 9.2 billion by the year 2050. This increase will mostly be seen in less developed countries, where the population will increase from 5.4 billion in 2007 to 7.9 billion in 2050, while the population in developed countries is expected to stay constant at around 1.2 billion.

At the same time, the life expectancy at 60 years of age will increase from 20 years to 22 years in the period between 2010-2015 and 2045-2050, and is again higher in more developed countries. There will also be an increase in the life expectancy at age 80 from 9 years to 11 years in developed countries.

The proportion of the world’s population aged 60 years or over will increase from 12% in 2013 to 21% in 2050 (Figure below).

World population and percentage of 60+ (United Nations Population Division, 2011)

This means that the global proportion of older people (> 60 years) will increase from 11.7 % in 2013 to 21.1% by 2050. In Europe, the proportion of elderly people (≥ 65 years) will reach 28% by 2050.

The proportion of older people requiring support from adults of working age will increase from 12.3% in 1995 to 17.2% in 2025. The proportion of young people under 20 years will at the same time fall from 40% to 32% of the total population by 2025. While the number of people aged over 65 will rise from 390 million to 800 million by 2025, reaching 10% of the total population by 2025. This means increases up to 300% of the older population are expected in many developing countries, especially in Latin America and Asia.

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