Disruptive Demographics

Disruptive Demographics

Aging is a disruptive force in many countries and economies. Imagine:

  • There are more walkers and wheelchairs than baby carriages in parts of Europe
  • People over 60 in China are more numerous than the entire population of Russia
  • Japan’s population by mid-century may reduce by half and nearly a third will be over 65
  • 77 million American baby boomers, born between 1946-1964 are now passing 65 nearly one every seven seconds
  • Even in ‘young’ South American and African nations, there are concentrations of older adults that rival or even surpass the oldest countries of Europe

But – global aging is not simply a story of ‘more.’ The new disruptive demographics of aging is not your grandfather's old age – many older people have:

  • Vast cultural, lifestyle, and economic diversity within and across nations
  • Fewer family caregivers and working age adults to support an aging society – either because of fewer children or the migration of younger people to urban centers leaving an older rural population behind
  • Greater expectations of Japan's Dankai and baby boomers in North America and Europe to not only live longer but to live better than previous generations
  • Higher expectations and lifelong experience with the promise of technology to improve the quality of life – from accessing healthcare, connecting to loved ones, to remaining engaged rather than ‘retired’ from society
  • Better health, more education and income than their parents and grandparents


Read more about the impact of disruptive demographics on society, business strategy and innovation on the AgeLab Director's blog: Disruptive Demographics


MIT AgeLab
1 Amherst Street, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142
ph: 617.253.0753
email: agelabinfo@mit.edu

Go to top