Population aging is occurring rapidly across the world in both developed and developing societies. Several countries in Asia and Europe will experience unprecedented growth in their older populations over the next several decades as their citizens live increasingly longer and their fertility rates flatten or decline. Approximately 70% of the growth in the 60+ population will occur in developing countries, which will be greatly challenged to respond effectively to the economic, health and long-term care needs of their older citizens.
The capacities of developed counties will also be strained by the growth of their older populations, but not to the extent of poorer countries, many of which have experienced substantial growth since the 1980s. This growth, however, has not been enough for them to meet more than a fraction of the current need for health services and economic support for their older citizens. How will these countries manage as the populations needing assistance more than doubles by 2050? What changes may be needed in the political economies and public policy regimes of these countries to better prepare them for the aging of their populations? The papers in this section provide at least a partial framework for a discussion