Building inclusive learning societies: active ageing and solidarity between generations
The EU population passed the 500 million mark back in 2008. This growth has been fuelled mainly by immigration, whereas the population is becoming older and more diverse. A slightly higher fertility rate and increase in life expectancy have also contributed to this growth. Nevertheless, by 2014 the European working-age population will start to shrink, while the number of over-60s will increase rapidly, by about two million people per year as a result of the large group of post-war baby-boomers reaching retirement. The average age in the EU (European Union) is now around 40 years, but by 2060, it will have increased to 47. However, Europeans are not just living longer. They are also on average healthier than ever before, which offers an important potential for our society.
Against this background, 2012 was declared the European Year (EY) for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, in order to raise awareness of the contribution that older people make to society.
It also sought to encourage policymakers and relevant stakeholders at all levels to take action with the aim of creating better opportunities for active ageing and strengthening solidarity between generations.