An overview of population ageing and its social and economic implications. Chapter 1 of Ageing in the 12st Century also discusses the need for adequate human rights protection instruments for older people.

Ageing in the 21st Century: Chapter 1: Setting the scene


In 1950, there were 205 million persons aged 60 or over in the world.

By 2012, the number of older persons had increased to almost 810 million.

It is projected to more than double by 2050, reaching 2 billion.

Chapter 1 of Ageing in the 21st Century provides an overview of population ageing and its economic and social implications. It describes the aims of the Madrid Plan and discusses the lack of protection afforded to older persons, due to the absence of comprehensive human rights instruments.

Chapter 1: Contents

  • Global population ageing
  • Older women
  • The challenges of population ageing
  • The response: The Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing
  • Human rights matter for older persons

Download Chapter 1: Setting the scene. (788kb)