The 2018 Ageing Report was prepared as part of the mandate the Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) Council gave to the Economic Policy Committee (EPC) in 2015 to update and further deepen its common exercise of age-related expenditure projections, on the basis of a new population projection by Eurostat.
It is the sixth report with long-term projections of the budgetary impact of the ageing population in the EU Member States and Norway, covering the period 2016–2070. In response to the mandate, the EPC mandated a working group, the Ageing Working Group (AWG) under the chairmanship of Godwin Mifsud, to take forward the work needed to discharge this remit.
Significantly lower working-age population projected for the EU over the coming decades
The demographic projections over the long term reveal that the EU is turning increasingly grey in the coming decades. The total population in the EU is projected to increase from 511 million in 2016 to 520 million in 2070, but the working-age population (15-64) will decrease significantly from 333 million in 2016 to 292 million in 2070 due to fertility, life expectancy and migration flow dynamics.
The projected demographic old-age dependency ratio almost doubling over the long-term
The old-age dependency ratio (people aged 65 and above relative to those aged 15 to 64) in the EU is projected to increase by 21.6 pps. over the projection period, from 29.6% in 2016 to 51.2% in 2070. This implies that the EU would go from having 3.3 working-age people for every person aged over 65 years to only two working-age persons. Most of this increase is driven by the very old-age dependency ratio (people aged 80 and above relative to those aged 15-64) which is rising by 14 pps. (8.3% to 22.3%) over this horizon.
European Economy Institutional Papers are important reports analysing the economic situation and economic developments prepared by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, which serve to underpin economic policy-making by the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament.