Population ageing "very rapidly" in developing countries: WHO officialListen /
The world population is ageing rapidly in low and middle income countries, according to a senior official of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr John Beard, Director of the Department of Ageing and the Life-course at WHO says that the ageing of populations is related to economic development.
He points out that in the early stages of economic development children start surviving childhood and women survive child birth.
"The world is ageing very rapidly and is actually ageing in places where some people don't expect. So it's occurring most rapidly in low and middle income countries. By the middle of this century, two billion people on the planet will be over the age of sixty and 400 million will be over the age of 80 and you can compare that to the middle of last century when there were just 14 million people over the age of 80 around the world. So the changes are very dramatic and that requires society to make a dramatic response"
The theme for this year's International Day of Older Persons, which is observed on October 1 each year, is "Longevity: Shaping the Future".