A United Nations report entitled 'World Population Ageing 2013' revealed some alarming predictions with regards to how quickly the global population is aging. Between 1990 and 2050 the number of over-60s will soar by 130% and account for 21.1% of the global population. Before then, in 32 years' time there will be more over-60s in the World than children (under-18s). Note, I am saying 'over-60s' and not 'pensioners' because by then there will not be any pensioners left in their 60s, in the UK at least.
When looking at the actual number of over-60s, rather than the percentage of the global population, the numbers are even more staggering as the 841m in 2013 will be dwarfed by the 2bn over-60s by 2050, (with almost 400m being over-80, and 90m of those octogenarians living in China alone). This is not as big a problem for the developed world as it is for developing countries like China. At present around two-thirds of over-60s live in developed countries but by 2050 at least 80% will live in what are considered 'developing countries' today. In short, compared to the rest of the World, the UK is already 'old'.
These future demographic shifts bode very well for property prices in developing countries however, as currently, only 25% of over-60s live alone or with their spouse, compared to 75% in developed countries. As those countries get wealthier more and more of those older people will live alone, sending demand for property soaring.