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Oct 27, 2021
New Report Highlights Innovative and Pioneering Practices for Supporting a Healthy Aging Population Worldwide
2021 AARP Global Conference Focuses on New Ways to Live and Age

WASHINGTON—A new Aging Readiness and Competitiveness report from AARP and Economist Impact shows that while global life expectancy is increasing, there is a growing gap worldwide between how long someone will live and how many healthy years of life they can expect. This gap was only exacerbated as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which disproportionately affected older adults.

Global aging is one of the most important demographic trends of our time. By 2050, one-sixth of the world’s population will be 65 and older. Health is essential to an individual’s experience of older age and the wellbeing of their family members. However, few societies are prepared to meet the basic needs of all older adults, let alone sustain their healthy aging. The Aging Readiness and Competitiveness report explores four areas of innovation to promote healthy aging: health care access, long-term care, aging in place and providing care in crisis settings.

The third edition of the Aging Readiness and Competitiveness report shows that barriers to quality health care are at an unprecedented high worldwide. The causes, including ageism, the perpetuation of disparities, marginalization and lack of dedicated resources, among others, continue to strain countries worldwide. But the countries that address—and improve—health care will keep people healthier for longer, increasing each person’s economic contribution to society and reducing the burden of long-term health care costs. The report includes 21 innovations from around the world and highlights the return on investment for five selected innovations to accelerate the pace of change.

“The widening gap between how long one will live and how healthy they can expect to be is a huge challenge for policymakers around the world. Investing in health outcomes will not only help individuals, but also strengthen societies,” said AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Public Policy Officer Debra Whitman. “The innovations highlighted in this Aging Readiness and Competitiveness report serve as important models for global stakeholders to learn from one another, collaborate, and break down barriers so that everyone can have a better life as they age.”

The Aging Readiness and Competitiveness report is being published in conjunction with AARP’s 2021 Global Conference, which focuses this year on Redefining Health: New Approaches for How We Live and Age. Featured speakers include:

  • Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO, AARP
  • Secretary Xavier Becerra, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization
  • Atul Gawande, surgeon, writer and public health expert
  • Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations

AARP’s Global Conference is taking place virtually October 27-28. More information is available here, and the 2021 Aging Readiness and Competitiveness report can be downloaded here.

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About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

For further information: Amanda Davis,, 202-434-2560