The Coming Old Surge

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Photo: iStockphoto

The future: grim. Everywhere you look, there are headlines warning of various upcoming disasters — the unemployment rate is going up, we might lose $23.7 trillion on the financial bailout, a pandemic is imminent. As if all that weren't bad enough, the futurists at Bloomberg are now warning us of a terrible new threat on the horizon: an onslaught of old people.

According to a report commissioned by the U.S. National Institute on Aging, the country and the world will soon be overrun with old folks, and we are ill-equipped to handle them all. They're going to use up all the social services, gum up all the food, and eventually die, leaving young people to deal with their hideous, gnarled bodies. But why? According to an author of the report, "Low fertility rates, extended life expectancy and better health conditions and care are the driving forces of this global trend." Here are the harrowing statistics:

The number of people older than 65 will double to 14 percent from 7 percent of the world’s population in the next 30 years, rising to 1.4 billion by 2040 from about 506 million in the middle of last year.


Wait, so this will happen by 2040? Hang on while we do math ... yep. That means the old people are us. Weird. Well, at least we know that even though we'll be old, we'll still be trendy.

Elderly to Double to 14% of Global Population by 2040 [Bloomberg]