17 October 2012

Aging in Africa

People over the age of 60 will be fastest-growing population segment in sub-Saharan Africa in the next decades. What challenges and opportunities does this change present for the region?

Mwanza, Tanzania- 21February, 2010: Portrait of an elderly African woman with grandson © Djembe | Dreamstime.com

Mwanza, Tanzania- 21February, 2010: Portrait of an elderly African woman with grandson © Djembe | Dreamstime.com

Projections from IIASA’s World Population Program suggest that in the next 50 years, the elderly population in sub-Saharan Africa will increase by a factor of 5. The number of people over age 60 in the region is expected to grow from 23 million today to 230 million in 2060. While greater populations of older people are generally associated with greater costs to society, IIASA projections for Africa suggest that these people will also be better educated than today’s elderly population, which is also associated with better health. 

IIASA’s Wolfgang Lutz will give a keynote speech on these findings on 18 October at the first Conference on aging in Africa, the IAGG Africa Region Conference on Gerontology and Geriatrics, which is taking place today through Friday in Cape Town, South Africa. Lutz notes that support for a larger elderly population will depend on economic development. Demography research shows that as birth rates begin to decline, a better-educated population can help encourage that socioeconomic development. 

Lutz will also take part in a roundtable discussion entitled “Building Longitudinal and representative evidence on aging in Africa,” on Friday, 19 October.  



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Last edited: 07 November 2013

CONTACT DETAILS

Wolfgang Lutz

Program Director

World Population

T +43(0) 2236 807 294

Population Projections

Data from IIASA's World Population Program.

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313