Population ages 65 and above (% of total)

Definition: Population ages 65 and above as a percentage of the total population. Population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country of asylum, who are generally considered part of the population of the country of origin.

Description: The map below shows how Population ages 65 and above (% of total) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Japan, with a value of 26.34. The country with the lowest value in the world is United Arab Emirates, with a value of 1.14.

Source: World Bank staff estimates based on age distributions of United Nations Population Division's World Population Prospects.

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Development Relevance: Patterns of development in a country are partly determined by the age composition of the population. Because different age groups have varying impacts on infrastructure needs, resource use and planning, and impacts on the environment, the age structure of a population is useful for analyzing future policy and planning goals involving infrastructure and development patterns. Different age groups have varying impacts on infrastructure needs, resource use and planning, and impacts on the environment. This indicator is used for calculating age dependency ratio (percent of working-age population). The age dependency ratio is the ratio of the sum of the population aged 0-14 and the population aged 65 and above to the population aged 15-64. In many developing countries, the once rapidly growing population group of under-15 population is shrinking. As a result, high fertility rates, together with declining mortality rates, are now reflected in the larger share of the 65 and older population. Population ageing or the rapid increase in the number of older people (ages 65 and over) is a global phenomenon. In many developed countries the elderly population is growing much faster than the overall population due to decreasing fertility and increasing life expectancy. The World health Organization estimates that worldwide, the proportion of older people in the total population is increasing at more than three times the overall population growth rate, and before 2020, for the first time in history, the population of people aged 65 and older will outnumber children under the age of five.

Limitations and Exceptions: Because the five-year age group is the cohort unit and five-year period data are used in the United Nations Population Division's World Population Prospects, interpolations to obtain annual data or single age structure may not reflect actual events or age composition. For more information, see the original source.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Age structure in World Bank's population estimates is based on the age structure in United Nations Population Division's World Population Prospects. For more information, see the original source. Total population is based on the de facto population including all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship - except for refugees not permanently settled in the country of asylum, who are generally considered part of the population of their country of origin. The values shown are midyear estimates. For more information see metadata for total population (SP.POP.TOTL).

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual