Aging Global Population is “Profound” and “Irreversible” Says UN Report

The United Nations recently released its global population estimates, revealing an alarming population shift that will have serious worldwide consequences within the near future. While blaming the problem on lowered fertility and increased longevity, the report fails to make the connection with contraception, abortion and sterilization.

The report is a 2007 updated version of the 2002 "World Population Aging" report that was published during the Second World Assembly on Aging. Following the demographic trends from 1950 to 2005, the report notes that the population aging is "unprecedented, a process without parallel in the history of humanity." The report indicates that people above 60 years old are starting to outnumber children, those under age 15. By 2047 old people will outnumber children on a global scale, the report states, although developed countries already reached this mark in 1998.

The report projects that by 2050, those aged 60 and over will comprise one third of the population in developed regions. In the developing nations, however, they will account for only one fifth of the population, a ratio at which the wealthier countries have already arrived.

The population trend profoundly affects every area of human life-economic, political and social-and is "irreversible", the report claims. In addition, the issue has been intensifying for decades; older people comprised 8% of the population in 1950, and this number increased to 11% by 2007. The UN predicts that the number will rise to 22% by 2050.

By the year 2000 the number of old people had tripled in the world since 1950. Only six year later, they had increased by another 100 million. The rate of their increase is 2.6% per year versus the 1.1% increase of the rest of the population. In addition, even those over 60 years are aging, and the number of people aged 80+ is most rapidly increasing.

At present the median age worldwide is 28 years, a number that is expected to rise to 38 by 2050. The oldest country is Japan, with a median age of 43, while the youngest is Uganda, with a median age of 15.

These numbers will have a serious effect on the working population, which will be forced to bear an increasingly heavy burden of retirees. By 2050 the ratio of workers between 15 and 64 to older persons will have decreased from 12 to 1 in 1950 to a mere 4 to 1.

The report notes that the problem of population aging is a "pervasive," worldwide issue. This is due to the fact that people's fertility is reduced, as well as the fact that the aged are living longer. As the document states, "The resulting slowdown in the growth of the number of children coupled with the steady increase in the number of older persons" has deeply impacted the balance of society.

This "unprecedented change, which started in the developed world in the nineteenth century and is more recent in developing countries" is right now "transforming many societies." The report blames the skewed population ratios on the rapid switch from high to low fertility levels and increased life expectancy. Nevertheless, once again a major population report fails characteristically to mention any connection between these alarming population rates and the rapid spread of abortion, contraception and sterilization in the past century.

Read Summary of UN Population Report.

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  • Guest

    Industrialism also brought in the false premise of "retirement", in my opinion.

    I guess the "old folks" will just have to keep on working.  After all many of them are healthy and strong and have plenty of meds to keep them that way.

    I think it is sinful for people with intelligence, experience, and vigor to spend 25 years taking cruises or playing Bacci ball at their "over 55" community.

    My children are my retirement, literally, at this point!  With a new baby on the way, my husband and I can't even think of "retiring" for another 22 years, minimum.  By then we'll be 66 years old, he will have worked outside the home for over 40 years, and just about have the experience to finally be worth something to society!  No time to be put out to pasture, indeed.

    In fact, we're looking to  the current and former beloved popes as our role models….in addition to Abraham, Noah, and Moses!

    Depite an earlier post against using this terminology, it's time for a paradigm change!

  • Guest

    elkabrikir,I agree completely. By the time we sent our last off to college, my husband was given an ultimatum by his company, either move to LA or find another JOB. Praise God, at the age of 55, he went into business for himself at the same time the call came again for him to be ordained to holy orders. (He was in formation when our sixth child was born and decided to concentrate on family instead of the Diaconate).We have no intentions of retiring, he now travels the world with his business and weekends are spent serving the imprisoned and the parish.

    To play and recreate 24/7 is our idea of rusting out. We love our grandkids, all 10 of them; Their median age is 7.3. With only 1/2 of our children married at this point, we expect our tribe to keep growing exponentially as they plan on reproducing beyond the 1.8 child per family. We find our peace in spending time with family and friends, conversing about our faith, and catechizing the little ones.

    Our quiver is full and what a joy to see grandchildren baptized in the faith and loving the Lord.  

    "Do not try to please everybody. Try to please God , the angels, and the saints. These are your public. If you are afraid of other people's opinion, you should not have become Christian." St John Vianney

  • Guest

    God loves you .

    Oh, I don’t know, elkabrikir, bambushka, that ‘cost-saving’ will not make for ‘labor-reducing’ . . .

    . . . and that it will be established that at the age of eighty-one years, four months – the four months being a ‘settle-accounts’ kicker – the elderly human, working or not, will be relegated to a compost heap.

    Remember, I love you, too

    Reminding that we are all on the same side – His,

    Pristinus Sapienter

    (wljewell @catholicexchange.com or … yahoo.com)

  • Guest

    Mr Jewell,

    of course "selective reduction" of the elderly is already upon us!  Read the PD James book (NOT the MOVIE which I thought was awful)

    Children of Men to see what happens to old folks when nobody's left to support them.  Amazingly,they chose the lovely death ceremonies, white garments and candles included, themselves!

    The handwriting is on the wall….I mean the headstones for many.

  • Guest

    Elkabrikir and Bambushka,

        I'm with you;  I don't anticipate being able to retire before my late 60s.  If I were ever blessed with a financial windfall (such as winning the lottery or Publisher's Clearing house), I would use that money to either become pregnant again using ethical fertility treatments, or to adopt as many children as possible.

  • Guest

    I just took my 5th child to college…I'm almost 49, my husband is 2  years older.  But our #11, who will probably remain the baby of the family due to my health considerations, is just 4 years old.  DH can retire from the postal service in 5 years, and probably will do so and then start another job the next day.  He has no intention of ever just sitting around or following conventional ideas about retirement. As far as having enough money to travel extravagantly…LOL   Momof11

  • Guest

    momof11:

    I've never seen you post before!  I'm expecting my 11th in early Dec..  I'll be 44 by then!  I look forward to hearing your perspective on subjects!

    My husband and I think 11 is a perfect number. We can spend one month a year in each child's house, sell our own, and  cruise for one month  every year!  Of course we'll be 302 when the last child leaves and by then the grandkids will have moved in……

  • Guest

    God loves you .

    elkabrikir seems to be ready to challenge Methuselah – just to get a century or so of peace and quiet.

    Eleven kids – probably eighty-plus (! :) grandkids. Whoo-hoo! Start your own marching band – - -

    ‘Seventy-six elkabrikirs led the big parade . . .’

    Remember, I love you, too

    Reminding that we are all on the same side – His,

    Pristinus Sapienter

    (wljewell @catholicexchange.com or … yahoo.com)

  • Guest

    I really am happy for all of you with large families; I come from one myself, though as yet none of us are coming close to my mom's fertility. But, having read the article, I remember something I posted on my blog very recently: China's one-child policy will lead to widespread geriatricide, probably by way of hard labor on short rations … and soon.

     Pray for the Chinese!

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