Population ageing is not a new phenomenon in Europe.

One of the greatest success stories of human development in Europe is the increase in life expectancy over the last 100 years. A major indicator of population ageing, the average life expectancy at birth has increased by about three decades in just 100 years. This graph shows that major catastrophes such as the World Wars or the Influenza pandemic in 1917 negatively affected life expectancy throughout the continent. Yet the overall upward trend is clear. One particular interesting country is Spain, which began the century as the country with the lowest life expectancy and rose to the Top 3 in Europe. So while Europe has been ageing for quite some time, we only started thinking about its most profound implications a few decades ago.