MEXICO CITY – Latin America’s elderly population will rise from 57 million today to more than 180 million by 2050, making up more than 25 percent of the region’s projected total population at mid-century, the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, or ECLAC, said.
The estimate is supported by the “increasingly higher” life expectancy in the region, the director of ECLAC’s CELADE population division, Dirk Jaspers, said.
Today, “not only are there more older people than in the past, but they are also living longer,” Jaspers said Monday in Mexico City.
Average life expectancy in Latin America rose from 51 years to 75 years between 1950 and 2010, “and it is forecast to rise to 80 years by the middle of the century,” Jaspers said.
The number of people age 65 or older is projected to be larger than the number of children in Latin America and the Caribbean by 2040, Jaspers said at the International Forum on the Rights of Older People.
“We are making strong progress toward an unprecedented milestone for humanity – the existence of more older people than children, something that we forecast to happen around 2040 in our region,” the ECLAC official said.
Age has become a factor in discrimination in Latin America and the region has deficiencies in caring for older adults, such as lack of access to timely and quality health services, Jaspers said.
“The rights of older people should not and cannot be absent” from society, the ECLAC official said. EFE