AU Watch

International Day of Older Persons

1 October

The General Assembly designated 1 October the International Day of Older Persons by resolution 45/106 of 14 December 1990, following up on United Nations initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing, adopted by the 1982 World Assembly on Ageing and endorsed later that year by the General Assembly.

South Africa commemorates the day as part of a national Older Persons Week and Social Development Month.

The composition of the world population has changed dramatically in recent decades. Between 1950 and 2010 life expectancy worldwide rose from 46 to 68 years, and it is projected to increase to 81 by the end of the century.

It should be noted that at present women outnumber men by an estimated 66 million among those aged 60 years or over. Among those aged 80 years or over, women are nearly twice as numerous as men, and among centenarians women are between four and five times as numerous as men. For the first time in human history, in 2050, there will be more persons over 60 than children in the world.