The aging population around the world is increasing at an unprecedented pace, and the numbers are astounding. According to the World Health Organization: (

  1. Between 2000 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years old will double from about 11% to 22%.
  2. The absolute number of people aged 60 years and over is expected to increase from 605 million to 2 billion over the same period.
  3. The number of people aged 80 years or older will have almost quadrupled between 2000 and 2050 to 395 million.

Other interesting statistics include:

  1.  The number of 55+ is the fastest growing population in the United States and around the world.
  2. There are more than 53,000 centenarians (persons that live to be 100 and beyond) in the United States, and more than 316,000 worldwide. Japan, according the a United Nations survey, has the highest number of this age group and will continue to lead the way in the foreseeable future.

The lesson for all of us is: Older is not old. Views have changed in recent years. Longevity in the 21st century is not what it was just a few decades ago. We are in the midst of an “Aging Revolution” that forces us to confront our beliefs and behaviors about the past, present and future. There’s no doubt about it. Living longer comes with challenges and opportunities. Let this be a time to face them with humor, grace, practicality, confidence and openness to what is yet to come.