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Age Groups

What Is It?

Population studies categorize people into age groups that are ranked successively. Groups include ages 0–14; 15–29; 30–44; 45–59; 60–74, and 75+. Each of these groups combine to make up a country’s population, which varies based on fertility levels, migration, and other trends.

How Is It Calculated?

Age groups are divided among six categories, each representing a percentage of a country’s overall population.

What Does It Mean?

Separating a country's population into a series of age-based categories can help demographers, economists, healthcare and education professionals, and others by providing specific and relevant subsets of data for analysis and provides insight into things like a country’s economy, population growth, and fertility rates. This information is essential for planning purposes.  A country's government must understand the age makeup of its population in order to guide public policy and determine things such as how many schools, medical facilities, and jobs a country needs.

For example:

  • A growing elderly population means more employees will be leaving the workforce, which will affect not only labor markets but also the demand for goods and services, such as housing and transportation. In addition, policies must further address this population's need for greater healthcare infrastructure and social protections. The global trend toward declining birth rates and increasing lifespans mean that the 65+ age group is growing faster than all other age groups. 
  • A growing youth population indicates a greater need for educational infrastructure and places increased employment demands on the economy in the future. The increase in employable workers may cause economic strain or rapid economic growth, depending on the country. The youth population has currently stabilized on all continents but Africa.