1 in 6 by 2030: How to Visualize a Demographic Transition

People worldwide are living longer. As the World Health Organization reports, today, most people can expect to live into their sixties and beyond. Indeed, by 2030, 1 in 6 people will be aged 60 years or over. 

Every country in the world is experiencing growth in both the size and the proportion of older persons in the population, and all countries face significant challenges to ensure that their health and social systems can cope with and benefit from this demographic shift. 

This shift and the challenges it brings stem from dramatically improved life expectancy. According to Our World in Data, “Since 1900 the global average life expectancy has more than doubled and is now above 70 years [72 years, to be exact]. The inequality of life expectancy is still very large across and within countries. in 2019 the country with the lowest life expectancy is the Central African Republic with 53 years, in Japan life expectancy is 30 years longer.”

In this event, we discussed a major new documentary project – 1 in 6 by 2030 – led by Sara Terry, Ed Kashi, and Ilvy Njiokiktjien. They were joined by three people whose stories they tell: Nancy McGuire, John Curry and Einar Njiokiktjien. Their global, collaborative project brings together photographers worldwide to produce compelling ways of humanizing what is, despite its social significance, a dry statistic on aging and demography.

If you are interested in participating, please visit the project website to view the application guidelines. The story topic for 2023 is ’72’. In 2024 the story topic will be ‘Work or Retire’.

Video chapters: 
00:00 – VII Insider in partnership with PhotoWings
00:51 – Project introduction
03:52 – Photo slideshow (part 1)
07:21 – In converstation: Ilvy and Einar Njiokiktjien
10:30 – The beginning of a collaborative, global project
13:04 – On hyperlocal storytelling
15:53 – Photo slideshow (part 2)
17:56 – In conversation: Sara Terry and Nancy McGuire
24:56 – Question: What are you looking forward to? 
30:17 – Photo slideshow (part 3)
33:37 – Question: What does it feel like to be 72?
41:59 – In conversation: Ed Kashi and John Curry
43:37 – Question: What concerns you?
47:08 – Project outreach
49:07 – Humanizing statistics 
51:00 – Next story: ‘work or retire?’
53:16 – Call to apply
55:53 – Future plans
01:02:29 – Communities and partnerships
01:08:53 – Closing remarks

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