1 out of every 8 persons in the EU could be 80 or above by 2080

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The FINANCIAL — The European Union (EU) as a whole is confronted with an ageing population. In 2014, the proportion of persons aged 65 or over reached 18.5% in the EU and it is projected to further increase in the future to almost 30% by 2080. In particular, the proportion of persons aged 80 or over among the total population is expected to more than double, from just over 5% in 2014 to more than 12% by 2080. This demographic trend confronts the EU with major challenges, notably regarding the economic situation and social inclusion of older people.

On the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons, celebrated each year on 1st October, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, publishes demographic indicators on elderly people living in the EU. Indicators on the risk of poverty and social exclusion among persons aged 65 or over, as well as on elderly internet users are also presented in this News Release.

Share of population aged 80 or over projected to at least double in almost all Member States

In 2014 in the EU, 18.5% of the population was aged 65 or over, including around 5.1% aged 80 or over. Member States with the highest proportions of population aged 80 or over were Italy (6.4%), Greece (6.0%), Spain and rance (5.7% each). Conversely, the lowest proportions were found in Ireland and Slovakia (both with 3.0% of their opulation aged 80 or over) as well as in Cyprus (3.1%).

The proportion of the EU population aged 80 or over has risen over the last 15 years, from 3.5% in 2001 to 5.1% in 2014. Population projections show that the EU population will age further: by 2080, almost 1 out of every 8 persons (12.3% of the population) would be aged 80 or over. Slovakia (now the Member State with the lowest proportion) is projected to become the Member State with the highest share of persons aged 80 or over (16.3%), followed by Portugal (15.8%), Germany (15.1%) and Poland (14.9%). At the opposite end of the scale, Ireland (with 7.4% of the population expected to be aged 80 or over by 2080), Lithuania (8.9%) and Latvia (9.5%) would have the lowest shares.

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Life expectancy at 65: widest gap between men and women in the EU Baltic States

Across Member States in 2013, life expectancy for women at 65 ranged from less than 18 years in Bulgaria to more than 23 years in France and Spain. For men it varied from less than 14 years in Latvia to more than 19 years in France, Spain and Luxembourg. The biggest differences in life expectancy at 65 between men and women were registered in Estonia and Lithuania (5.1 years each) as well as in Latvia (4.7 years), and the lowest in the United Kingdom (2.3 years), Sweden (2.5 years), Denmark and Ireland (both 2.7 years). At EU level, life expectancy in 2013 at the age of 65 was 21.3 years for women and 17.9 years for men (or a difference of 3.4 years).

Almost 20% of persons aged 65 or over in the EU at risk of poverty or social exclusion

In the EU, 18.2% of persons aged 65 or over were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2013. On average, this risk was lower than for the population below 65 (of which 25.9% were at risk of poverty or social exclusion). This pattern can be observed in twenty Member States, especially in Ireland (where the risk of being at risk of poverty or social exclusion concerned 13.3% of the population aged 65 or over vs. 31.8% of the population aged below 65, or a difference of 18.5 percentage point), Hungary (with a 17.3 pp gap), Greece (with a 15.8 pp gap) and Spain (with a 15.5 gap). However, in eight Member States persons aged 65 or above were more likely to be at risk of poverty or social exclusion than persons below 65, in particular in Bulgaria, Estonia, Slovenia and Croatia.

More likely to be at risk of monetary poverty than severely materially deprived

In the EU in 2013, persons aged 65 or over were more likely to be at risk of monetary poverty (13.8%) than severely materially deprived (6.9%). This was also the case in a large majority of the Member States, notably in Estonia, Belgium, Sweden and Finland.

The at-risk-of-monetary-poverty rate of the population aged 65 or over was much lower than for persons aged less than 65 in particular in Hungary (4.4% vs.16.1%, or a difference of 11.7 percentage point) , Luxembourg (gap of 11.1 pp) and Greece (gap of 10.0 pp). Member States where the severe material deprivation rate of persons aged 65 or over was much lower than for persons below 65 were Hungary (with a 12.0 pp difference), Greece (8.3 pp difference), Cyprus (8.2 pp), the United Kingdom (7.5 pp) and Ireland (7.2 pp).

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Silver surfers are in the northern EU Member States

In 2014, less than half (42%) of the EU population aged between 65 and 74 used the internet. This average masks noticeable differences between Member States. More than two-thirds of persons aged 65 to 74 used the internet in

Denmark (84%), Luxembourg (81%), Sweden (78%), the Netherlands (76%), the United Kingdom (70%) and

Finland (68%), while this was the case for less than 20% of older persons in Romania and Bulgaria (10% each), Greece (14%), Cyprus (16%) and Croatia (17%).

Internet users aged 65 to 74 in the EU mainly used the internet for e-mailing (86%), finding information about goods and services (79%) and, to a lesser extent, reading news (60%) and making purchases (42%). However, reading online news was by far the main activity among elderly internet users in the three EU Baltic States – Lithuania (93%), Latvia (84%) and Estonia (83%) – as well as in Greece (87%), Poland (74%), Croatia (73%) and Bulgaria (67%).

Elderly internet users most active in social networks in Hungary, least in Germany

In 2014 in the EU, around a quarter (23%) of internet users aged between 65 and 74 participated in social networks. The differences between the Member States are also here significant. The highest share was recorded in Hungary, where more than half of elderly internet users participated in social networks (51%), followed by Portugal (44%), Malta and Sweden (both 43%) and Latvia (41%). At the opposite end of the scale, fewer than one out of five internet users aged 65 to 74 participated in social networks in Germany (11%), the Czech Republic (15%), France (17%) and Lithuania (18%).

 

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