The final report of the European Commission project on Silver Economy has been published

How to stimulate the economy by hundreds of millions of Euros per year? 

If ranked among sovereign nations, the European Silver Economy (the economy of the population over 50) would currently be the third largest economy in the world, behind only the USA and China. And it will only continue to grow. A new European Commission study conducted by Technopolis and Oxford Economics reminds us of this opportunity, explores its concrete economic potential and lays out steps how to capture it fully.

Read more about the study on the blog on the European Commission's Digital Single Market website and download the report:

What is the Silver Economy?

The European Silver Economy is the part of the economy that concerns Europe’s older citizens. It includes all the economic activities relevant to the needs of older adults, and the impact on many sectors. For example, health and nutrition, leisure and wellbeing, finance and transport, housing, education and employment.

The Silver Economy is closely linked to current trends in Europe’s demographics, and the effects on older adults’ quality of life and on the wider European economy.


Why is it important?

An ageing society should be considered a sign of social and economic progress. One that, because of increasing longevity, brings further opportunities for economic, social and cultural development. It opens up new areas for economic growth and employment as technological innovation enters the market place. Demographic change also poses a major challenge to the European economy’s current ‘ways of doing business’. A strategic overview is essential to fully mitigate risks and exploit opportunities. 

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What is happening in Europe?

Several initiatives related to the societal challenge of the ageing population have been launched, in the context of Europe’s innovation strategy Europe2020. The objective is for older adults in Europe to live independently and actively for longer, in conditions enabling them to continue contributing to the European society and economy.

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What we do

Technopolis Group and Oxford Economics were working with the European Commission in order to answer several important questions about the Silver Economy in Europe. This work has provided strategic information and data needed to establish a reference framework for the development of a Silver Economy Strategy for Europe, building on existing regional, national and industrial initiatives across Europe. 

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Our Approach

This study's methodology was based on the concept that older adults' needs constitute the basis of a Silver Economy. We involved relevant actors in Europe that were considered direct or indirect beneficiaries of the future Silver Economy Strategy. We therefore reached out to stakeholders and invited the European Commission and other national and regional policy makers, industry leaders, and the older adults in Europe to contribute to this work. 

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Related initiatives and events

Our Approach

The methodology for this study embraces the concept that the users’ needs constitute the core and the basis of a Silver Economy.

1. Silver Economy Initatives

Preparing an inventory of major Silver Economy policy initiatives, at the national and regional level, to demonstrate the variety of sectors, geographic coverage and potential for social and economic impact in Europe.

2. Economic forecasting

Estimating the size and forecasting the growth of the Silver Economy in the EU by 2025. The output of this task will be a ‘reference document’ for future European policy-making as well as public and private investments.

3. Developing the case for opportunity areas

Developing 10 cases that provide the most promising opportunities for economic growth, building on the identified Silver Economy initiatives and market trends. We will launch an online stakeholder consultation to identify, categorise and prioritise the main determinants of opportunity areas. We will then develop ‘business cases’ for policy intervention. And ultimately validate these online by the stakeholders.

4. Policy recommendations

Formulating policy recommendations focusing on how best to stimulate an emerging Silver Economy in Europe, driven by technological and service innovation in ICT. The aim is to support a European-level ‘system innovation’ for tackling the ageing population challenge in a way that leads to sustainable economic growth. The intention is to ensure a balanced approach, between addressing the societal challenge of demographic change, and exploiting the jobs and growth opportunities. A final validation workshop with stakeholders will be organised in Brussels. 

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