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Visualizing the Size of the Global Senior Population



See this visualization first on the Voronoi app.

Map visualizing the size of the global senior population.

Visualizing the Size of the Global Senior Population

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The growth of the senior population is a consequence of the demographic transition towards longer and healthier lives. Population aging, however, can pose economic and social challenges.

Here, we map the size of the world’s population aged 65+ for 1980, 2021, and 2050 (projected). The data is from the World Social Report 2023 by the United Nations.

Global Aging

Currently, population aging is most advanced in Europe, Northern America, Australia, New Zealand, and parts Eastern and Southeastern Asia.

According to the UN, in most countries in these regions, the proportion of older persons exceeds 10%, and in some cases, 20% of the total population.

Population (Millions)198020212050
Africa & Middle East21M65M198M
Latin America & the Caribbean15M59M142M
North America & Europe113M208M303M

Most parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand) are still in an early stage of this transition, while most countries in Central and Southern Asia, Western Asia and Northern Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean are at an intermediate stage.

The size of the world’s senior population isn’t just growing in absolute numbers; it’s also growing as a share of the overall total. For example, in 2021, 1 in 10 people worldwide were over 65. By 2050, this is likely to be around 1 in 6.

While the shift towards older populations is largely irreversible, some critical measures are necessary to guarantee this transition. These include financial support for the senior population through pension plans, budgeting healthcare and long-term care costs, and implementing measures to adapt and innovate in labor markets to include seniors.

The Global Senior Population in 2100

What will the global senior population look like in the future? For more on that, look at this chart which highlights aging projections by country based on data and projections from the United Nations.

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Ranked: Countries Where Youth are the Most Unhappy, Relative to Older Generations

Conventional wisdom says that young adults (those below 30) tend to be the happiest demographic—but this is not true for these countries.



Countries with the Biggest Happiness Gaps Between Generations

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” — Tom Bodett

Measuring happiness is tricky business, more so when taking into account how different regions, cultures, and faiths define it. Nevertheless, the World Happiness Report attempts to distill being happy into a single score out of 10, and then ranks countries by their average score.

We’ve visualized the high-level findings from the latest happiness report in this series of maps. However, the report also dives deeper into other significant trends in the data, such as a growing disparity in happiness between age groups within countries themselves.

In the chart above, we list countries by the biggest gaps in happiness ranks between young adults (<30) and older adults (60+). A higher number indicates a larger gap, and that the youth are far unhappier than their older counterparts.

Where are Youth Unhappier than Older Adults?

Mauritius ranks first on this list, with a massive 57 place gap between older adult and youth happiness. The 1.26 million-inhabited island nation briefly reached high income status in 2020, but the pandemic hit hard, hurting its key tourism sector, and affecting jobs.

The country’s youth unemployment rate spiked to close to 25% that year, but has since been on the decline. Like residents on many similarly-populated islands, the younger demographic often moves abroad in search of more opportunities.

RankCountryYouth Happiness RankOlder Adult
Happiness Rank
Happiness Gap
1🇲🇺 Mauritius852857
2🇺🇸 U.S.621052
3🇨🇦 Canada58850
4🇺🇿 Uzbekistan712249
5🇨🇳 China793049
6🇯🇵 Japan733637
7🇲🇳 Mongolia865333
8🇩🇿 Algeria936231
9🇱🇾 Libya805030
10🇸🇬 Singapore542628
11🇰🇿 Kazakhstan694227
12🇵🇭 Philippines704327
13🇱🇦 Laos1047727
14🇩🇪 Germany472126
15🇪🇸 Spain552926
16🇲🇹 Malta573126
17🇧🇭 Bahrain775126
18🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan815526
19🇲🇷 Mauritania1199326
20🇹🇩 Chad1209426

Conventional wisdom says, and data somewhat correlates, that young adults (those below 30) tend to be the happiest demographic. Happiness then decreases through middle age and starts increasing around 60. However, the above countries are digressing from the pattern, with older generations being much happier than young adults.

That older generations are happier, by itself, is not a bad thing. However, that younger adults are so much unhappier in the same country can point to several unique stresses that those aged below 30 are facing.

For example, in the U.S. and Canada—both near the top of this list—many young adults feel like they have been priced out of owning a home: a once key metric of success.

Climate anxieties are also high, with worries about the future of the world they’ll inhabit. Finally, persistent economic inequities are also weighing on the younger generation, with many in that cohort feeling like they will never be able to afford to retire.

All of this comes alongside a rising loneliness epidemic, where those aged 18–25 report much higher rates of loneliness than the general population.

Where does this data come from?

Source: The World Happiness Report which leverages data from the Gallup World Poll.

Methodology: A nationally representative group of approximately 1,000 people per country are asked to evaluate their life on a scale of 0–10. Scores are averaged across generations per country over three years. Countries are ranked by their scores out of 10.

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