In the European Union, the number of older people is growing due to increasing life expectancy and the large number of ‘baby boomers’ now reaching retirement age. While the total EU population is projected to increase only by 16 million (3%) between 2010 and 2060, the number of people over 65 years old is expected to rise from 87 to over 150 million. Of these, the number of people over 80 years of age will nearly triple from 23 to 62 million.
As a result of this ‘ageing’ of the population, LTC needs and costs are expected to increase substantially. Although anticipating needs for LTC depends on different assumptions about health and ageing in the future, the average cost of LTC in the EU is predicted to rise from 1.8% of GDP in 2010 to between 3.2% and 5.0% by 2060. This represents a much faster rate than the expected increase in healthcare costs (from 7.1% to 8.9%) over the same period.