Ageing and life-course

Age-friendly cities and communities

Since 2008 the majority of the world's population live in cities. Urban populations will continue to grow and by 2030 it is estimated that around 3 out of every 5 people will live in an urban area.

At the same time, as cities around the world are growing, their residents are growing older. The proportion of the global population aged 60 will double from 11% in 2006 to 22% by 2050.

Population ageing in many rural areas is even more accentuated as young people migrate to the cities.

Local action to address global population ageing

Making both cities and rural communities age-friendly is an effective local policy approach for responding to population ageing. The physical and social environments are key determinants of whether people can remain healthy, independent and autonomous long into their old age.

The WHO age-friendly cities guide highlights 8 domains that cities and communities can address to better adapt their structures and services to the needs of older people: the built environment, transport, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication, and community support and health services.