But it has now slowed down to about the same pace as in the older developed countries. Of course, there is a rather large economic problem hidden in these statistics.
The proportion of the adult population that is older than 65 years old, once only a small fraction of the whole, is now heading toward being one-third of the total.
It is simply not possible for all of them to retire and be supported by the two-thirds who are of working age.
Something has to give here, and it is probably the retirement age.
Increasing numbers of older-than-65s are continuing to work, at least part-time.
In fact, the latest British statistics show that almost half of the increase in employment since the beginning of the recession in 2008 has been of people older than 65, mostly in self-employment or part-time work.
Welcome to the new world.