United Nations (CBSDC/AP) — A global study has found that the world is aging so fast, most countries are not prepared to support their swelling numbers of elderly people.

The “Aging in the Twenty-First Century: A Celebration and A Challenge” report to be released Tuesday by the United Nations Population Fund and elder rights group HelpAge International ranks the social and economic well-being of elders in 91 countries. Sweden came out on top and Afghanistan was in last place.

The Global AgeWatch Index shows that nations are not working quickly enough to cope with a population graying faster than ever before. By the year 2050, seniors over the age of 60 will outnumber children under the age of 15 for the first time in history.

Today, almost one-in-10 people are over 60 years old, but by 2050, nearly one-in-five people in developing countries will be over the age of sixty.

The study analyzes income, health, education, employment and age-friendly environment in each country.

Population age is increasing fastest in developing countries, even in places where there is also a large population of young people. Of the currently 15 countries with more than 10 million older persons, the study finds that seven of these are developing countries.

Declining fertility rates coupled with increasing survival rates at a late age is factoring into the broad population aging. Life expectancy at birth has risen substantially throughout the globe. In 2010-2015, life expectancy has risen to 78 years in developed countries and 68 years in developing areas.

The report finds that by 2045-2050, newborns are expected to live to 83 years in developed regions and 74 years in developing areas.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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