Health of the elderly

The face of an older woman

Population ageing or rapid increase in the number of older people is a global phenomenon. Nations are greying as the elderly population is growing much faster than the overall population due to decreasing fertility and increasing life expectancy.

In developing countries, the process is being compressed into two or three decades over a single generation. In 2050, there will be two billion people over the age of 60 years; 80% of them will be living in developing countries.

The Region is witnessing an increase in the number and percentage of the population aged 60 and over. The number of persons aged 60 and older in the Region was around 26.8 million (5.8% of the total population) in 2000. It is projected that in 2025, older persons will make up nearly 8.7%, and by 2050 nearly 15% of the population.


Each year October 1 is celebrated as International Day of Older Persons. This year the theme is “Leave no one behind: promoting a society for all”. A key strategy to facilitate...

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The Regional Office is currently developing a regional comprehensive survey on ageing and health in Member States to collect a range of data on older persons. Data will be collected on demographic, socioeconomic, health,...

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Al Moharik City, Bahrain's third largest city, is currently applying to become a member of the global network of age-friendly cities. Al Moharik City has five primary health care centres which all offer age-friendly health services...

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In focus

World Health Day 2012 focuses on how good health can add life to years, enabling older men and women to not only live longer, but also to extend their active...

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Second international conference on age-friendly cities, Quebec, 9–11 September 2013

The second international conference on age-friendly cities will take place in Quebec City from 9 to 11 September, 2013. The Conference's general objective is to develop collaboration among all stakeholders...

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The Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing and the Political Declaration adopted at the Second United Nations World Assembly on Ageing in 2002 marked a turning point in how...

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Statistics and figures

In the Eastern Mediterranean Region it is projected that by 2025, older persons will make up nearly 8.7% of the population, and by 2050 nearly 15%, of the population.

Regional Health Observatory