Population Ageing in the Pacific Islands: A Situation Analysis

No. of pages: 74

Publication date: 2014

Author: UNFPA PSRO

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Ageing refers to the process whereby an increasing proportion of a population is aged 60 years and over. Up until the 1980s, most Pacific Island populations were either ageing slowly or not at all and the proportion of the population over 60 years remained below 6 percent. Median age remained within the range of 16-20 years. In the last two decades of the 20th century the pace of ageing accelerated and is projected to reach a peak around 2025. The number of older persons in the Pacific is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 3.7 percent between 2014 and 2050 and to grow in number from around 512 thousand to 2 million. The oldest old (80 years and over) is currently growing at a faster rate than the 60 and over age group. The oldest old are projected to increase at an average annual rate of 5 percent between 2014 and 2050 and by 2050 there will be 205 thousand persons aged 80 and over.