Ageing in the 21st Century


The world is growing old fast. In the next 10 years, the number of people over age 60 will surpass one billion.

Ageing in the Twenty-First Century: A Celebration and A Challenge, is a landmark new report published by UNFPA and HelpAge.

It makes the case for governments, NGOs, global institutions, and civil society to fully commit to a concerted global effort to realign 21st century society to fit the realities of 21st century demographics.

Watch our introductory film, download the full report (3mb) or browse the report content below.

Executive summary

Older women in Latin America. (c)Nile Sprague/HelpAge International.

Read Ageing in the Twenty-First Century: Executive Summary online, or download in:

English (690kb) |Arabic (3mb) | 
Chinese (704kb) | French (980kb) | 
Portuguese (706kb) |Russian (1mb) | Spanish (709kb) | Vietnamese (465kb) | Japanese (2mb) | German (1.2mb) | Italian (2.6mb) | Thai (1.5mb)

Chapter 1: Overview

Older man in Haiti. (c) Fr?d?ric Dupoux.

An overview of population ageing and its social and econonic implications. This chapter also argues for the need to protect older people's rights.

Read a summary of Chapter 1.

Download Chapter 1. (788kb)

Chapter 2: Evidence

Older women in Myanmar. (c)Joanne Hill/HelpAge International.

Chapter 2 takes a fresh look at the evidence and describes how the situation and role of older people has changed over the past ten years.

Read a summary of Chapter 2.

Download Chapter 2. (1.12mb)

Chapter 3: Progress

Older men in Pakistan. (c)HelpAge International.

Chapter 3 reviews progress in policies and legislation on ageing. It highlights key issues in each region and describes regional processes for implementing and reviewing the Madrid Plan.

Read a summary of Chapter 3.

Download Chapter 3. (662kb)

Chapter 4: Voices

Older man in Africa. (c)Anthony Olmos.

In Chapter 4 - the heart of the report - we hear from older people themselves how their lives have changed and what they want from policy makers.

Read a summary of Chapter 4.

Download Chapter 4. (758kb)

Chapter 5: Findings

Older woman in the UK. (c) Age UK.

A summary of the main findings of the report and recommendations on the way forward to secure a "society for all ages."

Read a summary of Chapter 5.

Download Chapter 5. (502kb)


Older man in Ethiopia. (c) John Cobb/HelpAge International.Appendix 1: Indicators of ageing and older persons 

Appendix 2: Minimum list of indicators

Appendix 3: Research agenda on ageing for the 21st century

Appendix 4: Methodology for consultations

Download Appendices and Endnotes (639kb).

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Ageing infographic

Ageing in the 21st Century: Infographic. The world is ageing rapidly. Within 10 years there will be 1 billion older people worldwide.

View full ageing infographic.


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