Population groups


By 2025 more than 20% of Europeans will be 65 or over, with a particularly rapid increase in the number of over 80s.

Greater life expectancy is of course a positive result of progress. But living longer also increases the risk of physical, sensory and mental diseases.

Minimising these risks will ensure that, as we get older, we continue to enjoy a decent quality of life, independence and the chance to remain active in society and our families.


The European Commission is committed to healthy and dignified ageing for Europeans. 

Healthy life years

An effective index for monitoring healthy ageing is the EU’s healthy life years indicator. 

It combines simple life expectancy (mortality) with health status (disability) to give an overall indication of how long people live in good health.