Seven billion people- a growing (and aging) world

The coming decades will be a lot busier inside the world’s retirement communities and assisted living communities. Today is a big milestone for the world, according to the United Nations. Today, October 31, 2011, is when the world population officially reaches seven billion people.

And while the world’s population has grown at a rapid pace, experts say most of the growth is not due to more children being born, but rather people living longer than ever before.

According to a recent article in the Washington Post newspaper, many countries in the developed world have sub-replacement fertility rates (meaning fewer than two children per woman), and as a result, their populations are becoming older, not younger.

“Longer life is what human beings have wanted ever since we started talking to spirits and mixing herbs in bowls,” Ted Fishman, an aging expert, told the news source. “And we worked at the top of our intelligence to get to this point of our life. It took almost the sum total of human history to get it.”

Aging populations are welcomed in countries such as China, where the government has a one-child policy, but in countries such as Russia, the government actively encourages couples to have more children. Either way, one thing is certain: when the world population reaches eight billion, it will be even grayer than it is now.