By 2050, 2 billion of us (about 22 percent) will be aged 60 or older—a figure that will have doubled since 2000. In anticipation of our rapidly changing demographics, political leaders and physicians worldwide are encouraging an age-friendly era in which seniors are better valued for their contributions—fiscally and otherwise. Of top importance: keeping seniors healthy, engaged, and fighting their risks for noncommunicable disease and loneliness. (“Lonely deaths” or “kodokushi” are on the rise in Japan, which currently lays claim to the oldest population and recently issued a cabinet policy paper advocating engaging the population of elders to help spur economic growth.)
In Europe, where 2012 was designated the “Year of Active Aging,” 17 percent of the population is now aged 65 and over. Next up on the graying horizon: the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and Korea, whose populations are growing by leaps and bounds. As our older populations swell, the World Health Organization looks toward 2050, when 80 percent of older people will live in low- and middle-income countries such as Chile, China, and Iran.
As marketers, what should our role be in helping to ease the burdens associated with this demographic shift--for individuals and for nations? Let us know what you think.
Image credit: Creative Commons/Daniel Hughes@flickr.com