Q&A - Elderly
Updated: 22 December 2016
Which country has the largest number of elderly (aged 65+)?
Figure 1: Number of elderly (age 65+): Top-15 countriesCountries with largest number of children
Chart by GKH. Data Source: UN WPP2015.
Currently, China has, by far the largest population of elderly (age 65+): More than 130 million.

India only has have as many elderly as China: Just 74 million people in India are 65 years of age or older.

The United States of America has about 48 million people age 65 and above; Japan 33 million.

Figure 2: Percentage of elderly (age 65+): Top and bottom 15 countries, 2015
Countries with highest and lowest percentage of children
Chart by GKH. Data Source: UN WPP2015.

In 2015, more than one quarter of Japan's population were age 65 or above - 26.3%. The country has, by far, the highest percentage of elderly.

But there are several European countries, where the percentage of people age 65 and above is higher than 20%: Bulgaria, Finland, Portugal, Germany, Greece and Italy.

By comparison, countries in Africa have very small elderly populations - typically just 2% to 5% of the population is 65 years or older. In fact, the 15 countries with the lowest percentage of elderly, have only up to 2.6% of their population 65 or older.