The whole of Europe is going grey, but in Europe’s Ageing Demography (2) ILC-UK show that Eastern Europe will be hit the hardest by the brewing demographic storm.

While it is currently the Northern and Western European countries which have the oldest populations, by 2060 many of the countries in the East will have the highest proportions over the age of 65.  

A shrinking working age population combined with a growing cohort of retirees means that by 2060 it is projected that many Eastern countries will have less than 2 working age adults per dependent. The problem is expected to be particularly bad in Slovakia and Poland, where there will be just 1.5 and 1.7 working age adults per dependent. This trend has huge implications for the Eastern economies and will place enormous strains on their government’s finances.

Europe’s ageing has profound implications for individuals, governments and businesses across Europe, all of whom must adapt to a new world where it is projected that almost 1 in 3 people will be over 65, and more than 1 in 10 will be over the age of 80 (1).

Europe’s Ageing Demography, supported by the specialist insurer Partnership, is an accessible factpack of statistics which illustrates both the reality of what it means to be old in Europe today, and the demographic changes Europe will experience over the next half century.

Richard Willets, Director of Longevity at Partnership commented,
“As with the UK, the rest of Europe is rapidly going grey!  This raises a unique set of challenges for government, business and individuals who not only need to plan for their own later life but also need to put structures in place that will help society at large.  The launch of the European Fact Pack provides us with an excellent opportunity to review the success – and failures – of other countries which will allow us to build an appropriate and robust system for our own older population.”

Helen Creighton of the ILC-UK said,
“Today around 1 in 6 Europeans are over 65 and just over 1 in 100 are aged over 80. By 2060 1 in 3 will be over 65 and 1 in 10 will be over 80. This is not just a demographic change, this is a demographic transformation. Growing EU integration means we cannot just consider the demography of individuals countries in isolation, it is vital that we look at regional patterns across the contitnent.”

The factpack, titled Europe’s Ageing Demography, will be officially launched in Brussels at the European Economic and Social Committee on the 5th of November.  It provides heard evidence that will be crucial for guiding the responses of both national governments and the European Parliament to Europe’s demographic challenges. To register to attend, please click here.

The ILC-UK’s Population Patterns seminar series, supported by Partnership, considers the evidence base of our changing demography and explores how policy makers need to respond to demographic change. For more on #populationpatterns, please visit the ILC-UK website.



George Holley-Moore (, or Helen Creighton ( at ILC-UK on 07531164886 

Lee Blackwell, Head of PR, Partnership ( on 020 7398 5986 / 07950798072   


1. Projections from Eurostat, show that while in 2010 16% of Europeans were over 65, by 2060 this is likely to rise to 29.3% of Europeans. Projections also show 4.1% of the European population was over 80, this figure will rise to 11.5% by 2060.


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