The world population is aging more quickly than ever before. With this change in demographics come challenges to healthcare systems that governments had never previously envisioned. Greatest among them is how governments can absorb the increasing demands of an aging population on their healthcare systems at the same time that their percentage of young, able workers decrease.

The challenge exists due to a number of factors. First, our increasing life expectancies over the past century. Prior to the 1900s, average life expectancy was best estimated at thirty years of age across all major regions of the world. During the early 1900s, life expectancy started to increase in newly industrialized countries. In other countries, it remained stagnant.

Today, thanks to public health initiatives and successful infection control interventions, average life expectancy globally is seventy two years of age.

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Originally Published on Forbes (Nov 19, 2018)