According to the latest data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS), at the end of 2018 the average age of a statistical inhabitant of Poland was 41 years (median age). The average age of a man was over 39 years. Women are statistically older as a result of longer life expectancy. In this group, the median was 43 years on average.
The median age of women increased by 16 years
According toGUS data, the inhabitants of rural areas are younger than the inhabitants of cities. The median age in these groups was 39 and 42, respectively. As a result of prolonged life expectancy and changes in the age structure of the population, the median is growing year by year. Compared to 2000, it increased by more than 5 years.
The differences are even greater if we look at the longer time series. Compared to 1950, the median age of women increased by 16 years. In the case of men, it was one year less.
The challenges of an ageing population
Over the last few decades, not only the median age, but also the age structure of the Polish population has changed significantly. While in 1990 people in pre-working age (i.e. 0-17) constituted 29.6% of the total population, in 2018 it was only 18.1%. In numerical terms, this means a decrease from 11.3 million to 6.9 million. At the same time, the percentage of people aged 65 and more increased from 10.2% in 1990 to 17.5% at present. This means an increase of nearly 2.9 million people.
An ageing population is a huge challenge for the entire healthcare system. On the other hand, it is an opportunity to develop senior citizen services, such as long-term care facilities.