The number of over-65s is expected to rise from 2.5 million in 2009 to 4.2 million in 2050. The number of over-80s will increase proportionally and there will be more men among them. The amount of older people without offspring will also rise.
Number of over-65s
2 in every 5 older people will be very old in 2050
In 2009, one quarter of over-65s will be 80 years or older. The proportion of over-80s is expected to grow to 40 percent in 2050. The number of under-70s will be reduced from 30 to 21 percent.
The high birth rates of the post-war period, which lasted until the 1970s, will be reflected in an increase in very old people. The reduced risk of dying also contributes to this process; 72 percent of people, who will celebrate their 65th birthday this year, will reach the age of 80 in 2024, as against 62 percent of 65-year-olds in 1990.
Over-65s by age category
More older men
In 2009 only 33 percent of people over the age of 80 are men. The reason is that life expectancy for women is higher than for men, though male life expectancy is rising more rapidly than female life expectancy. As a result, the relation between very old men and women will gradually become more balanced. In 2050, 44 percent of over-80s will be men.
More older people without offspring
The proportion of childless older people will be higher in 2050 than today. The current group of 65-year-old women were born in 1944. In this group, 11 percent remained childless. The 65-year-olds of 2050 were born in 1985. About 20 percent of this generation of women is expected to remain childless.
Women by number of children
Coen van Duin