1: Ageing and work

Ageing and work

Why is ageing relevant for work?

People in Europe are getting older

The population in Europe is ageing: the proportion of older people is growing at a faster pace compared to younger age groups. By 2080, people aged 65 and older will nearly double, to make up one-third of the European population.  

The following image shows that the median age has increased significantly during the past decades and is projected to continue rising.

Median age: EU average between 1960 and 2060

The ageing of the population goes hand-in-hand with the ageing of the workforce. Less young people are entering the labour market, while the proportion of older people (aged 55-64 years) in the workforce is growing.

In Ireland although there is no statutory retirement age, retirement ages are set out in contracts of employment.  However, since 2013, for those employed in public service, retirement age has increased to 66 years and will increase to 68 years by 2028.

Age composition of the working population (1990-2060) 

With an increasing share of ‘older workers’, it is becoming more and more important to think about ageing at work, and especially to understand the relationship between work and age. In recent years, many countries have raised the retirement age and are now looking for ways to prolong working lives. An increased number of people will have to work longer, which means that staying healthy at work is more important than ever.

Read more about ageing (next section)