The Slovenia Times

Slovenia ageing rapidly

Health & Medicine
An elderly person in a wheelchair. Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

A Eurostat projection indicates that the age structure of Slovenia's population will change significantly in the coming decades as population ageing accelerates. In 2100, the elderly are expected to account for a third of the country's population, which is forecast to decline by some 7% in the next eight decades.

Last year, the elderly (aged 65 or more) accounted for 21% of Slovenia's population, but in 2100 they are expected to account for 32%, says the EUROPOP2023 projection.

The country's population is expected to grow to roughly 2,121,000 by 2026, but then the figure will start to gradually decline. In 2100, the population is expected to total some 1,951,000, down 7% compared to 2022.

The fertility rate is projected to rise steadily in the future and reach 1.72 in 2100, but this upward trend will not be enough to prevent further population ageing.

The share of children (under 15), which was at 15% last year, is projected to be at its lowest in 2037 (12.5%), and in 2100, children are expected to account for 13% of the population.

Life expectancy at birth is projected to increase as researchers continue to push the frontiers of medicine. Boys born in Slovenia in 2100 are expected to live to 89 years old and girls to 93.

Today, the average woman in Slovenia can hope to live to be just over 80 years old and the average man perhaps just under 80 years old, according to figures by neurologist Zvezdan Pirtošek from the University Medical Centre Ljubljana. Medical breakthroughs have almost doubled life expectancy in the past century, he added.

Genetics and lifestyle also play a major role in human longevity, and in addition to physical fitness mental health is another key area to monitor.

A survey carried out in the spring of 2022 suggested that elderly men in Slovenia are happier than their women counterparts. Some 51% of men participants reported that they were happy all the time or most of the time in the four weeks before taking part in the survey, whereas the share in women participants experiencing the same was at 45%.

On the other hand, 20% of women and 14% of men reported they rarely or never experienced happiness in those four weeks. The Statistics Office survey also indicated that elderly women tend to feel more lonely than men.


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