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Metadata Glossary

Indicator NameAge dependency ratio, old (% of working-age population)
Long definitionAge dependency ratio, old, is the ratio of older dependents--people older than 64--to the working-age population--those ages 15-64. Data are shown as the proportion of dependents per 100 working-age population.
SourceWorld Bank staff estimates based on age distributions of United Nations Population Division's World Population Prospects: 2019 Revision.
TopicHealth: Population: Dynamics
Aggregation methodWeighted average
Statistical concept and methodologyDependency ratios capture variations in the proportions of children, elderly people, and working-age people in the population that imply the dependency burden that the working-age population bears in relation to children and the elderly. But dependency ratios show only the age composition of a population, not economic dependency. Some children and elderly people are part of the labor force, and many working-age people are not. Age structure in the World Bank's population estimates is based on the age structure in United Nations Population Division's World Population Prospects. For more information, see the original source.
Development relevancePatterns of development in a country are partly determined by the age composition of its population. Different age groups have different impacts on both the environment and on infrastructure needs. Therefore the age structure of a population is useful for analyzing resource use and formulating future policy and planning goals with regards infrastructure and development.
Limitations and exceptionsBecause the five-year age group is the cohort unit and five-year period data are used in the United Nations Population Division's World Population Prospects, interpolations to obtain annual data or single age structure may not reflect actual events or age composition. For more information, see the original source.
License TypeCC BY-4.0