Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Global Elderly Population to Double in 30 years

China needs to build a more varied healthcare sector for the elderly population

(Photo : Getty Images) With the increasing number of elderly people, the Ministry of Civil Affairs has pointed out the need for more senior healthcare facilities and small healthcare homes that can cater even those living in small local communities.

A report by the United States census bureau revealed that the global elderly population is ageing at an increasing rate, with the number of people aged at 65 and over expected to reach more than double by 2050.

If this increasing trend continues, 17 per cent of the world's population or 1.6 billion people will be in the 65 and over age bracket by 2050. In countries like Portugal, Spain, Italy and Germany, almost 28 percent of the population comes in the 65 and above category.

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The world's population of people aged 80 and older is anticipated to more than triple between 2015 and 2050, shooting up from 126.5 million to 446.6 million.

Global life expectancy is projected to increase by almost eight years, from today's 68.6 years old to 76.2 years old in 2050.

Asia has the largest number of elderly people in 2015 - nearly 600 million. This number is estimated to rise to 1.4 billion by 2050. 

The increasing rate of non-communicable diseases like heart attacks, stroke, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes will be a major concern among these older generations. The report also suggests that infectious diseases can come as a huge medical challenge for older adults from low-income countries.

"People are living longer, but that does not necessarily mean that they are living healthier," said Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA), which commissioned the study titled An Aging World: 2015.

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