Ageing population is an European challenge


People are ageing rapidly throughout the whole Europe.This is a common problem for all the European countries. The amount of population aged 65+ will raise sharply, by 58 million (or 77 %) between 2004 – 2050. At the same time the population of the EU will fall from 457 million to 454 million. Especially the amount of very old people, 80+, will raise. It will almost triple from 22 million in 2008 to 61 million in 2060.

Projected changes in the age structure of the EU25 population.

Projected changes in the age structure of the EU25 population

Old-age dependency ratio

The old-age depency ratio will change dramatically from four people of working age for every elderly citizen in 2004 to two to one by 2050.

We will therefore have problems to find employees especially after 2015. The total number of persons employed is projected to increase up to 2017, but after 2017 the democraphic effects of an ageing population outweight this effect. After increasing by some 20 million between 2004 and 2017, employment will contract by almost 30 million by 2050, i.e. a fall of nearly 10 million over the entire projection period. The ageing effect will dominate as of 2018, and both the size of the working age population and the number of persons employed will go downwards.

Economical view

The annual average potential GDP growth rate will fall from 2.2% in 2004-2010 to 1.8% already in the period 2011-2030 and to 1.3% between 2031 and 2050.

The pension arrangements are very diverse in the EU Member States, due to both different traditions on how to provide retirement income, and by Member States being different phases of the reform process of pension systems.

The pension ranging from less than 3000 euro or less per year (Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) to 14000 euro or more per year (Austria, Sweden, Denmark, France, Norway and Luxembourg).

For more information


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