By 2050, more than one in five of the 9 billion people on Earth will be over the age of 60, according to a U.N. report.
Hania Zlotnik: The population sixty and over in developing countries is going to almost triple, and in the whole world also is going to slightly more than triple in the coming four decades.
Hania Zlotnik is the director of the UN Population Division. She talked about the challenge of adapting to an aging population.
Hania Zlotnik: The main concern that everyone is talking about is not so much about societal adaptation, but the economic adaptation.
Zlotnik said that people are staying healthier and living longer, and it’s expected that older people will remain in the workforce.
Hania Zlotnik: But it’s also important for the economic system to allow them to save over their working life enough so at some point they are able to stop working as hard as they used to, or maybe stop working at all.
But despite the challenges, she sees the aging of the population as an encouraging sign that people are having fewer children.
Hania Zlotnik: We have to see aging of the population as the greatest success of ensuring sustainability.
At the same time, Zlotnik said, the world’s economies will have to provide jobs for the world’s young people.
Hania Zlotnik: An economy is not going to take off if there’s a lot of unemployment, if people who want to work cannot find gainful employment.
Photo Cedit: Keith Bacongco
Learning to love science. As a producer for EarthSky, Lindsay Patterson interviews some of the world's most fascinating scientists. Through EarthSky, her work content is syndicated on some of the world's top media websites, including USAToday.com and Reuters.com. Patterson is also charged with helping to stay in steady communication with the thousands of scientists who contribute to EarthSky's work of making the voice of science heard in a noisy world. She graduated from Colorado College with a degree in creative writing, and a keen interest in all forms of journalism and media.