Sustainable financing in the context of population ageing


March 2018 – June 2019

Implementing partners:

European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

Location of research:


Total Budget:
US$ 100,000 (joint funding)


Given the population decline associated with ageing, countries are increasing concerned about how they will finance health and social systems with declining payroll contributions. Similarly, there is an interest in monitoring expenditures and service delivery models to address the increased demand for services that respond to the health needs of older adults.


WHO WKC has partnered with the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and the WHO Health Financing Team to prepare briefs focusing on the impacts of shifting age demographics on health care expenditure trends and the ability to finance health systems. This research will result in two policy briefs that collate the most up-to-date data and information and provide policy options for countries. While data may only be available for high income countries, the policy briefs will discuss implications for low and middle-income settings that are rapidly ageing.


Early results demonstrate that a health system heavy reliant on contributions linked to the labor market is unsustainable as populations age. 


Pending completion of study.