Global trends in disability and ageing
The demographic trends common to both developed and developing countries are beginning to have a profound social and economic impact in many countries. United Nations data on worldwide demographic trends show that:
- 11% of the global population is now more than 60 years old;
- By 2050, this figure is expected to be 22%; rising from 700 million people in 2009 to 2 billion;
- The number of people aged over 80 is growing at 4% per annum; the population as a whole is growing at 1% per annum.
The Link between Age and Disability
It is also clear that there is a strong correlation between age and disability. There is evidence that:
- About 10% of the world’s population has a disability;
- About one third of older people have a disability and in some countries as many as two thirds of disabled people are also elderly.
It is important to recognise in a transport context that it depends largely of the environment to which extent travellers with a disability and reduced mobility need assistance.
For example, people who are autonomous in their home situation might face problems at airports with very long distances.
(Metz & Underwood, “Older, Richer, Fitter”)