The worldwide population is aging faster than in the past, but in Latin America and the Caribbean this demographic transition is taking place even more rapidly. More than 8% of the population was 65 or older in 2020 and that percentage is estimated to double by 2050 and exceed 30% by the end of the century.
One of the main effects of this drastic demographic change is that many older people lack access to the basic resources necessary to enjoy a dignified life and many others face multiple obstacles to fully participate in society.
The Decade of Healthy Ageing 2021-2030, declared by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2020, is the main strategy to build a society for all ages. This global initiative brings together the efforts of governments, civil society, international agencies, professional teams, academia, the media, and the private sector to improve the lives of older people, their families and their communities. It builds on previous guidance, such as the World Health Organization's Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health 2016-2020: towards a world in which everyone can live a long and healthy life, the United Nation’s Political Declaration and Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) leads the concerted agenda of the Decade of Healthy Aging in the Americas 2021-2030.