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Age Dependency Ratio by Country 2023

Age dependency ratio is an economic metric that tracks the ratio between "economically dependent" people (children under 15 and adults 65 and over) and "economically productive" residents (people aged 15-64) in a given country. Dependency ratio can be expressed as a simple number or as a percentage and is computed by dividing the number of producers by the number of dependents, then multiplying by 100. For example, if a fictional country was home to 200 producers and 70 dependents, its dependency ratio would be (70/200) * 100, which would be written as either 35 or 35%.

The age dependency ratio helps governments, banks, universities, and other large organizations track the balance of ages within a country's population. This, in turn, helps with processes including determining the amount of funding needed by social programs devoted to children and the elderly, anticipating a population's level of financial stress, or gauging the likelihood of civil unrest. Age dependency ratios typically includes both the young and the old (total ADR), but may also be divided to include only individuals under 15 (children/young ADR), or over 65 (aged/elderly/old ADR).

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Total Age Dependency Ratios*:

Country
Total ADR % 🔽
Niger108.92%
Mali96.86%
Somalia95.7%
Chad95.09%
DR Congo94.71%
Angola93.64%
Uganda90.7%
Burundi90.51%
Mozambique87.46%
Burkina Faso86.98%

* Data per World Bank 2022, data year 2021

As a rule, high dependency ratios are considered a negative condition, as they put extra pressure on the economy and require earners to support more people with the same limited assets and income. A family made up of two wage earners and a single child, for example, requires fewer financial resources to support than does a family made up of two wage earners with five children and two elderly dependents.

Top 10 Countries with the Lowest Total Age Dependency Ratios*:

Country
Total ADR % 🔼
Qatar18.38%
United Arab Emirates19.53%
Bahrain26.51%
Maldives31.01%
Kuwait32.49%
Oman34.22%
Singapore36.39%
Macau37.66%
Brunei38.67%
Saudi Arabia39.26%

* Data per World Bank 2022, data year 2021

Qatar has the lowest age dependency ratio in the world at 18.38. Qatar has a relatively small population of fewer than 3 million people, but most are working professionals, a large percentage of whom are expatriates. As such, the traditional family model is less common in Qatar than in other countries.

As a rule, a low age dependency ratio is preferable and indicates a healthy economy in which there are enough jobs and workers to support those who are too young or too old to work. In certain circumstances, however, low dependency ratios could be a symptom of an undesirable condition. For example, low dependency ratios could reflect chronically low birth rates or fertility rates, which can lead to economic stagnation when the older generation ages out of the workforce and the country has too few younger people to replace them. Low dependency ratios can also indicate a lower life expectancy and high death rate, with too few people living long enough to age out of the workforce.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Child Age Dependency Ratios*:

Country
Child ADR % 🔽
Niger103.5%
Mali92%
Chad90.19%
Somalia89.99%
Angola89.37%
DR Congo88.81%
Uganda86.86%
Burundi85.83%
Burkina Faso82.44%
Mozambique82.1%

* Data per World Bank 2022, data year 2021

Niger's child dependency ratio of 103.5 is the highest in the world. This is a ratio of children aged 0-14 to adults aged 15-64. Plagued by instability, wars, military coups, and regime changes, Niger is one of the least-developed countries in the world. Most Nigerians live in deep poverty and many live in rural areas. Health care and education are often severely lacking. These conditions have combined with one of the world's shortest life expectancies to create a lopsided population in which there are currently more children under the age of 15 than there are adults between the ages of 15 and 64.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Aged Age Dependency Ratios*:

Country
Aged ADR % 🔽
Japan48.64%
Finland37.39%
Italy37.12%
Portugal36.18%
Greece35.41%
United States Virgin Islands35.22%
Germany34.35%
France34.33%
Bulgaria34.21%
Malta34.21%

* Data per World Bank 2022, data year 2021

Individuals 65 years of age or older are classified as "aged" (sometimes written "old" or "elderly") in terms of age dependency ratios. The country with the highest elder dependency ratio is Japan, with a score of 48. This means that there are 48 seniors for every 100 adults (15-64), which is a significant percentage of the population. Japan's high aged ADR is due to multiple factors, including the Japanese culture's attitude toward its elders and the Japanese lifestyle itself.

The Japanese have some of the highest life expectancies in the world, as nutrition and exercise are taken very seriously and encouraged. Moreover, respect for the elderly is a major part of Japanese culture. It is considered extremely rude to refuse help to an elderly person. As a result of these factors, many of Japan's older residents are well-cared for by their families, their neighbors, and even strangers and the state itself.

Challenges to the age dependency ratio

The age dependency ratio is occasionally criticized for the ages chosen to serve as the dividing years between age categories. While some countries do consider 14 to be the "age of majority", in countries such as the United States, that age can rise to 18 or 21 years of age depending upon the state. In these countries, the national age of majority is used to calculate ADR, which can create a statistical incongruity in which one country's child dependency rate includes individuals aged 0-14 and another country's rate includes individuals aged 0-18.

Note: All data sourced from World Bank 2022, data year 2021. Percentages shown are computed against a base of 100. For example, Niger's world-leading 108.92% total ADR represents a ratio of 108.92/100, which indicates that the country is burdened with nearly 109 dependents (103.5 children and nearly 5.5 elders) for every 100 working-age residents.

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Country
Total ADR %
Child ADR %
Aged ADR %
Niger108.92%103.5%5.42%
Mali96.86%92%4.86%
Somalia95.7%89.99%5.71%
Chad95.09%90.19%4.9%
DR Congo94.71%88.81%5.89%
Angola93.64%89.37%4.27%
Uganda90.7%86.86%3.84%
Burundi90.51%85.83%4.68%
Mozambique87.46%82.1%5.36%
Burkina Faso86.98%82.44%4.54%
Gambia86.34%81.65%4.69%
Nigeria85.41%80.3%5.11%
Tanzania85.06%80.11%4.94%
Central African Republic84.68%79.48%5.2%
Zambia84.26%80.29%3.98%
Guinea84.12%78.64%5.48%
Senegal83.2%77.47%5.73%
Malawi82.34%77.51%4.84%
Benin81.9%75.9%6%
Guinea Bissau80.53%75.26%5.27%
Cameroon80.2%75.29%4.92%
South Sudan79.96%73.91%6.05%
Zimbabwe79.78%74.29%5.49%
Sao Tome and Principe79.77%74.21%5.56%
Ivory Coast79.42%74.19%5.22%
Afghanistan78.21%73.42%4.79%
Republic of the Congo77.82%72.82%5%
Solomon Islands77.34%70.74%6.6%
Liberia76.65%70.72%5.94%
Togo76.18%71.01%5.17%
Sudan76%69.45%6.55%
Ethiopia75.83%69.56%6.27%
Madagascar75.38%69.83%5.55%
Sierra Leone75.26%70.12%5.15%
Mauritania74.58%68.96%5.61%
Rwanda73.77%68.19%5.57%
Samoa73.31%64.29%9.01%
Comoros72.19%66.72%5.47%
Vanuatu71.78%65.54%6.24%
Yemen70.61%65.54%5.07%
Palestine70.11%64.56%5.55%
Japan69.48%20.84%48.64%
Eswatini69.39%62.59%6.8%
Timor Leste69.27%62%7.27%
Gabon69.18%63.2%5.98%
Iraq68.86%62.99%5.87%
Tajikistan68.57%62.97%5.61%
Kenya68.3%63.93%4.37%
Tonga67.57%57.57%10%
Namibia67.51%61.45%6.06%
Israel67.5%46.42%21.07%
Kiribati67.17%59.9%7.27%
Ghana66.94%61.58%5.36%
United States Virgin Islands66.82%31.6%35.22%
Egypt64.64%55.69%8.94%
Equatorial Guinea64.46%60.57%3.9%
Pakistan64.01%56.8%7.22%
Finland62.87%25.49%37.39%
France62.81%28.48%34.33%
Papua New Guinea62.62%56.67%5.95%
Sweden61.62%28.53%33.08%
Guatemala61.37%53.06%8.3%
Algeria60.86%49.73%11.13%
Latvia60.81%26.97%33.85%
Botswana60.45%52.98%7.47%
Kyrgyzstan59.98%52.09%7.9%
Bolivia59.79%47.62%12.17%
Haiti59.71%51.28%8.43%
Kazakhstan59.62%46.58%13.04%
Estonia59.35%26.27%33.08%
Lesotho59.15%51.16%7.99%
Lithuania57.9%24.57%33.33%
Denmark57.78%25.68%32.1%
Belgium57.57%26.72%30.84%
United Kingdom57.41%27.74%29.67%
Bulgaria57.27%23.07%34.21%
Italy57.22%20.1%37.12%
Slovenia57.17%23.74%33.42%
Czech Republic56.86%24.8%32.06%
Malta56.82%22.62%34.21%
Jordan56.59%50.26%6.33%
Croatia56.57%22.66%33.92%
Puerto Rico56.57%23.26%33.3%
Greece56.39%20.98%35.41%
New Zealand56.31%30.15%26.16%
Germany56.29%21.94%34.35%
Portugal56.29%20.11%36.18%
Curacao56.25%27.86%28.39%
Netherlands56.24%24.29%31.95%
Laos56.23%49.4%6.83%
Australia55.83%30.11%25.71%
Georgia55.81%31.57%24.25%
Argentina55.71%37.79%17.91%
Cambodia55.48%47.73%7.75%
Mongolia55.46%48.5%6.96%
Turkmenistan55.35%47.59%7.76%
Paraguay55.33%44.47%10.86%
Micronesia55.24%48.07%7.17%
Syria55.23%47.64%7.6%
Uruguay55.02%31.35%23.68%
Ireland54.75%31.68%23.06%
United States54.52%28.19%26.33%
Philippines54.44%45.6%8.84%
Honduras54.37%46.48%7.89%
Iceland54.36%29.56%24.8%
Romania54.2%23.89%30.31%
El Salvador54.17%40.56%13.61%
Sri Lanka54%36.09%17.92%
Hungary53.96%22.25%31.71%
Nicaragua53.87%44.79%9.08%
Panama53.86%40.37%13.49%
Ecuador53.82%41.79%12.03%
Dominican Republic53.7%41.76%11.94%
Fiji53.69%44.43%9.26%
Norway53.65%26.31%27.33%
Guyana53.35%42.14%11.22%
Venezuela53.14%40.64%12.5%
Serbia53.02%23.32%29.7%
Poland52.95%23.32%29.63%
Spain52.75%21.72%31.04%
Russia52.63%28.22%24.42%
Guam52.62%36.02%16.6%
Morocco52.47%40.38%12.09%
Switzerland52.45%22.89%29.55%
Canada52.22%23.98%28.25%
South Africa52.03%43.47%8.56%
Montenegro51.84%27.29%24.55%
Nepal51.47%42.51%8.95%
Austria51.4%21.91%29.49%
Belize51.34%43.53%7.81%
Grenada51.01%35.88%15.13%
Uzbekistan50.99%43.4%7.59%
Barbados50.92%24.98%25.94%
Suriname50.83%39.83%11%
Peru50.66%37.17%13.49%
Djibouti50.21%42.96%7.25%
Tunisia50.17%36.37%13.8%
Belarus50.11%25.94%24.17%
Mexico49.97%38.22%11.75%
Ukraine49.75%23.82%25.93%
Armenia49.42%31.07%18.35%
Turkey48.93%35.1%13.83%
Slovakia48.84%23.2%25.64%
Bosnia and Herzegovina48.81%21.24%27.58%
Cape Verde48.33%41.04%7.3%
India48.27%38.22%10.05%
Aruba48.05%25.63%22.42%
Jamaica48.03%34.27%13.77%
Lebanon47.83%36.17%11.67%
Albania47.74%25.23%22.52%
Seychelles47.36%34.98%12.38%
Indonesia47.35%37.75%9.6%
Libya47.11%40.31%6.8%
Cuba46.88%23.11%23.78%
Hong Kong46.88%19.11%27.77%
Trinidad and Tobago46.5%29.04%17.46%
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines46.47%31.6%14.87%
New Caledonia46.46%31.85%14.61%
Chile46.44%27.84%18.6%
Bangladesh46.29%38.49%7.8%
Iran46.28%36.33%9.95%
Myanmar46.16%36.7%9.45%
French Polynesia45.79%32.08%13.72%
Antigua and Barbuda45.75%31.68%14.07%
Vietnam45.73%33.76%11.96%
Colombia45.52%31.85%13.67%
Costa Rica45.39%29.92%15.47%
Cyprus45.34%23.91%21.43%
North Macedonia45.15%23.52%21.63%
Bhutan44.69%35.53%9.16%
Malaysia44.33%33.58%10.75%
Azerbaijan43.96%33.7%10.25%
Brazil43.66%29.38%14.28%
Luxembourg43.35%22.36%21%
China42.87%25.14%17.74%
Thailand42.53%23.23%19.29%
Mauritius41.72%23.25%18.47%
North Korea41.61%27.97%13.64%
Bahamas41.5%30.13%11.37%
South Korea40.52%17.24%23.28%
Moldova40.52%22.22%18.3%
Saint Lucia39.48%24.72%14.77%
Saudi Arabia39.26%34.18%5.08%
Brunei38.67%30.4%8.27%
Macau37.66%20.13%17.53%
Singapore36.39%16.93%19.46%
Oman34.22%30.69%3.53%
Kuwait32.49%28.02%4.47%
Maldives31.01%26.04%4.97%
Bahrain26.51%22.85%3.66%
United Arab Emirates19.53%17.8%1.73%
Qatar18.38%16.17%2.22%
showing: 192 rows

Which country has the highest age dependency ratio?

Niger has the greatest age dependency ratio globally, 108.92, which means the country's working-age people have a high number of very young and old people to support.

What is the age dependency ratio in the US?

The United States has a total age dependency ratio (ADR) of 54.52%. Child ADR is 28.19% while the ratio for those over 65 is 26.33%.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources