By 2050, the number of people in the EU aged 65 and above is expected to grow by 70% and the number of people aged over 80 by 170%. This raises important challenges for the 21st century: meet the higher demand for healthcare; adapt health systems to the needs of an ageing population while keeping them sustainable in societies with smaller workforce.
The key challenge will be to promote healthy and active ageing for European citizens. More years in good health will mean a better quality of life, more independence, and the possibility to remain active. An ageing population in good health will also mean less strain on health systems and fewer people retiring from work due to ill-health. This would have a positive impact on Europe's economic growth.
The EU is actively supporting Member States in their efforts to promote healthy ageing with initiatives to improve the health of older people, the workforce, children and youth; and to prevent diseases throughout life. In addition, the EU takes action to improve the living conditions of elderly people.