Image: Aerial view of Paris
Guillaume Plisson  /  AFP - Getty Images
There's a stunning new population trend in Paris — Parisians are selling their flats and moving out to the 'burbs. On the face of it, that's not truly astonishing. It's been happening in the U.S. since World War II ended. The stunning fact is to whom Parisians are selling these days. It's to Americans, especially older Americans.
updated 6/8/2005 7:25:58 PM ET 2005-06-08T23:25:58

The world is growing gray fast. The elderly population is expanding at a rate of 2 percent a year; by 2050 there will be more people over the age of 60 than under 15. Nowhere is the trend more pronounced than in developed countries, where increasing life expectancy and decreasing fertility rates will elevate the median age from 39 to 46 in the next several decades.

And with more and more people settling in cities — and growing old there — municipalities around the planet are facing unprecedented challenges in providing accessible transportation, affordable health care and appropriate housing for their older citizens.

Our special report on Global Graying Cities takes an in-depth look at how a range of cities around the world are responding to this demographic sea change.

© 2012 Forbes.com

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