A new report from the United Nations is urging policymakers around the world to prepare for an older population with fewer young workers.
According to the report, developed countries with a greater share of older people and developing countries with more young people will experience the "irreversible global trend" of population aging.
Those over 65 years of age are expected to more than double in the next 30 years, from 760 million to 1.6 billion. While those over the age of 80 are increasing at an even faster rate.
The report states that "most of the more developed countries have experienced population aging over several decades and are already in advanced stages of this process. By contrast, many developing countries face rapid transitions towards aging societies."
Nations in Europe and North America currently have the highest number of older people, but nations in Africa and Western Asia are "expected to experience the fastest growth in the number of older people" over the next three decades.
The UN is calling on governments to increase retirement ages and expand pension coverage, while also making investments in healthcare and education that allow older people to be more self-reliant and economically productive.
"Eliminating age-related discrimination and barriers to formal employment are other critical measures for older persons to make continued contributions," the report states.
Developed nations are struggling to maintain their pension systems as the population ages and more individuals enter retirement. According to an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Medicare Hospital Insurance in the United States is expected to become insolvent by 2028, and Social Security's Old-Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund will deplete its reserves by 2034, the Daily Wire reported.
While some argue that the global population is expanding at an unsustainable rate, others disagree. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has called low birth rates the "biggest risk to civilization" and urged people to have more children.
"Many people, including some smart people, think that there are too many people in the world and that the population is growing out of control," said Musk, the NY Post reported. "This is not the case. Please look at the numbers. If people don't have more children, civilization will crumble."