Do we know that we’re getting old?

Trying to understand the way young people think while simultaneously trying to plan things according to elderly population needs is not an easy task indeed. The latest data on population indicates that humans are getting old by the minute.

From 1950 to 2000, substantially larger share of the global population lived in in rural areas. Urban population began to increase rapidly through the 1980s. By 2005, this reached more than fifty per cent and continued to rise at a rapid rate.

Today, more than twice as many people in the world live in urban than in rural settings. A major reason for that is obviously rural-urban migration. I must, however, indicate that steps implemented as part of “regional planning” has significantly contributed to urban population growth.

Projects like the “GAP Project”, designed to help rural settings develop and flourish creates some sort of “push back” effect a while after their implementation. Having prospered thanks to regional development measures, individuals start migrating to urban settings offering a lot of different opportunities. I think it’s quite natural that these people want to benefit from health and educational services as well as other elements of a comfortable life. However, the quality of life in urban settings keeps falling every day due to ever-increasing urban population.

On the other hand, according to the UN demographics reports, the world population is rapidly aging. While, in the 1950s, almost 14% of world population was aged below 5, population aged above 65 was around only 5%. After the 1970s, there’s been a rapid decline in population aged below 5, falling back to 10% by the 2000s. In the meantime, population aged above 65 rose to 8%, which shows that the world population’s aging process has been accelerating since 1979. I must say that it’s the only natural consequence considering statistics showing that global average life expectancy is increasing as a result of developments in medical technologies and healthcare innovations. Although these statistics are still open to discussion, the fact that world population is aging whether due to decrease in fertility rates or due to an increase in human life expectancy does not change the reality: world’s older population continues to grow at a rapid rate.

“Holdings and Companies must rethink the way they think…”

There’s a high likelihood that global population aged above 65 will exceed population aged below 5 by 2020. The percentages of younger and older population will be around 10% of total world population. According to demographic calculations, the gap between both groups will gradually grow larger and, by 2050, population aged above 65 will include 18% of world population while population aged below 5 will fall below 8%.

Considering that this population will grow older in urban settings, I think a lot of urban facilities will need to be revised and redesigned especially including public transportation and urban furniture. Similarly, companies/institutions will also need to rethink retirement age and lower age limit for higher positions.

Interestingly, all institutions and organizations in are doing the exact opposite of what demographic statistics say. I’m awfully concerned about the fact that highly experienced employees aged above 65 are forced to retire or move away from critical decision making processes will cause serious problems in the future.

Assigning their professional employees 65 years and older to less active roles, while avoiding to be subject to the same criteria for fear of losing their positions as ‘the boss’, will make a lot of companies lose huge credibility. I hope the facts I mentioned above will be taken account in “working age and retirement age” debates.