Global Statement identifies, analyses and reports on global trends in higher education, research and innovation. It is based on the expertise of the Swiss network of scientific counselors and swissnex, located in 19 countries all over the world. 2016 topic is “Ageing Society”.


The Aging Society in the U.S.

Written by Sophie Baumann, Embassy of Switzerland in Washington, D.C.


The U.S. population is not aging as fast as the population of other countries but Americans are still getting older and the current administration has been taking steps to tackle the issues of an aging society. One of these steps was the 2015 White House Conference on Aging. This conference has been taking place every decade since 1961 and the most recent one was hosted by President Obama in July 2015.[i] In the past, these conferences have often influenced developments in the U.S. aging policy. The 2015 conference put a big focus on economic and legal issues that older people face today but it also included announcements from various research labs and tech companies that aim to support the elderly through the use of new technology. One such announcement was made by the HEALTH-E initiative and University of Washington, which introduced an interdisciplinary Aging and Technology Laboratory. (more…)

China’s Growing Business of Growing Old

written by Michael Simon Waser, Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing

Virtually every country in the world is confronted with an ageing population and surely China is no exemption to this phenomenon. But to understand the scope and speed China’s population is ageing, we need to have a look into the country’s recent history.



Research on ageing in India

written by Indraneel Ghose, Science and Technology counselor in New Delhi, India


The context

India is a young nation, and will be the youngest country in the world in the year 2020, with a median age of 29 years. However, according to the 2014 State of the Elderly report compiled by the nongovernmental organisation HelpAge India, 20% of the population will be elderly by the year 2050. While the overall population between 2006 and 2050 is expected to grow by 40%, that of the elderly (age 60 and above) will grow by 270%. The elderly population in India crossed the 100 million mark in 2014 and is expected to grow to 143 million in the next five years and reach 324 million by the year 2050.


South Africa is pushing for an ageing society!

written by Basil Fahrlaender, Embassy of Switzerland in Pretoria, South Africa


South Africa is not ageing yet

Demographics in South Africa do not really fit in the classical scheme of an ageing society, as observed in most industrialized countries. The expression “the Baby Boomer generation”, that has become a sort of a general concept describing the demographic transformation of western populations, is thus not much of an explanation for a understanding of the South African reality. South Africa has till today a very young society. Almost half of all South Africans are currently younger than twenty-five year old and only one out of twenty South Africans is 65 or older. The demographic pyramid remains therefore very flat and speaking about an ageing society can be a bit misleading.[1]