International Day of Older Persons

Almost one in five residents of Slovenia is older than 65 years

At the beginning of 2019, 413,054 residents of Slovenia were 65 or more years old, which is almost one in five. Life expectancy at birth is getting longer. A person born today can expect to live about seven years longer than those who were born 25 years ago.

  • 23 September 2019 at 10:30
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1 October was designated the International Day of Older Persons in 1990. The United Nations dedicated this day to discussions about different issues related to older persons. The age limit at which old age is supposed to start is not determined. In Slovenia an older person is usually one aged 65 years or more.

Almost a fifth of Slovene residents are 65+ years old, most of them women

On 1 January 2019, 413,054 residents of Slovenia were 65 or more years old, which is 19.8% of total population. Women represented 57% of the older population. At that time 189 residents were 100 or more years old, of whom 161 women. Life expectancy at birth is getting longer: in the past 25 years it grew by about 7 years. In one year the number of older people grew by almost 12,000 or 3%. At the level of statistical regions, the share of older persons in total population was the largest in Goriška (22.4%), followed by Pomurska (22.2%), and the lowest in Osrednjeslovenska and in Jugovzhodna Slovenija (18.4% each). Only in one other statistical region (Savinjska, 19.3%) it was above the national average.

Older persons outnumber children

The ageing index, which describes the ratio between the population aged 65 years or more and children up to 15 years of age, has been increasing. In 2019 it was 131.7 (for women 155.7). This means that there are over 131 older persons per 100 children. According to EUROPOP2018 projections, in 2033 the index is expected to be over 200, which is twice as many persons aged 65+ than children aged up to 15 years.


Older persons are at greater risk of poverty and are the least satisfied with their lives and health

The number of persons in employment is declining with age. A characteristic of the Slovenian labour market is that the employment rate in the age group 55–64 years is one of the lowest in the EU (47% in 2018; EU-28 average is 58.7%), mostly on account of early retirement. Nevertheless, in recent years it has been increasing; since 2016 it has grown by 8.5 percentage points.

Some people remain active (i.e. in paid employment or self-employed) after they complete 65 years of age. At the end of 2018 there were 4,965 such persons in Slovenia (73.3% of them men), representing 0.6% of total persons in employment in the country. Average gross earnings of persons in paid employment at this age are much higher than average gross earnings of all persons in paid employment. In 2017 it was almost twice as high; according to provisional data it was EUR 3,318 EUR gross (for men EUR 3,339 gross and for women EUR 3,255 gross).

In 2018 the at-risk-of-poverty rate in Slovenia for total population was 13.3%, meaning that about 268,000 people in Slovenia were living on income lower than the at-risk-of-poverty threshold. 89,000 of them were retired (18.1% of all retired persons in the country), 60,000 women and 29,000 men. The at-risk-of-poverty rate was the highest for persons aged 65 years or more (18.3%); for persons over 74 it was 21.8%.

Self-assessment of overall life satisfaction was the lowest among older persons; in 2018 the average score for persons aged 65 years or more was 6.7 on the scale from 0 to 10. The average score for all age groups was 7.3. Young people aged 16–29 years were the most satisfied with the average score of 8.1.

A person’s assessment of overall life satisfaction is influenced by their health status. In 2018 on average 10% of residents assessed their health status as bad or very bad. As expected, the share was the highest in the age group 65+ (23%).

4.5% of older persons live in old people’s homes; only one in four is a man

On 1 January 2019, 19,260 persons in Slovenia were living in old people’s homes, which substitute or complement the functions of home and own family by providing residence, food, protection and health care; 95% of them were aged 65 or more. In the past eight years the number of of residents of old people’s homes has increased by 15%, partly on account of new facilities being built. At the beginning of 2019 their mean age was 83 years.

The share of older persons living in so-called institutional households, which include old people’s homes, is growing with age. At the beginning of 2018, 0.9% of persons aged 65 years were living in institutional households, while the share for persons aged 80 was 5%, for those aged 85 11% and for those aged 90+ over 25%.

Old people are increasingly better educated

In 2018, 13.2% of residents of Slovenia aged 65+ had tertiary education (in 2011 10.2%). People over 65 are the only age group in which the share of tertiary educated men is higher than the share of tertiary educated women (16.9% vs. 10.6%). In the age group 60–64 years the share of women with tertiary education is 1.8 percentage points higher than the share of men with same education (17.2% vs. 15.4%). The shift towards greater participation of women in tertiary education started with the generations born in the mid-1950s.

The older generation in a digital age

With greater use of information and communication technology and development of digital society it is important that all people have equal opportunities and appropriate knowledge to participate in it irrespective of age, education or status. This will prevent the digital divide.

When making use of the data and information of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, always add: "Source: SURS". More: Copyright.