The Republic of Ireland's population is expected to increase by 53 per cent to 6.7 million by the year 2060, according to figures released today by the European Commission.
The projections, compiled by Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, show that the strongest population growth in the EU will occur in Ireland, along with the UK, Cyprus and Luxembourg.
The figures estimate that a quarter of Ireland's population will be aged 65 or over by 2060, with one in ten aged 80 or older.
The UK will have the largest population in the EU with 77 million, followed by France at 72 million and Germany with 71 million. The overall population in the EU will increase until 2035 when it is estimated it will reach a peak of 521 million.
Bulgaria, Romania and Poland are projected to show a net drop in population by 2060.
The statistics indicate that all European countries will all witness ageing populations with economies becoming increasingly dependent on migrants in order to maintain the size of its working age population.
Across the EU, the proportion of working age people to the dependent elderly will go from 25 per cent now to 53 per cent in 2060.
Ireland bucks the trend, but only slightly, with the ratio of working age Irish people to OAPs going from 16per cent now to 43 per cent in 2060.
From 2015, projects indicate that annual deaths in the EU will outnumber the annual births and 'natural' population growth will cease.
It is anticipated from that point that Europe's population will only grow as a result of migration.
Age Action said the projections provide clear evidence of the need for the Government to begin planning for an ageing society.
"The figures show why it is so important that the Government starts planning and preparing now for an ageing population," Age Action spokesman Eamon Timmins said.
"We need to address issues such as pensions, services to enable older people remain living in their own
homes, transport and employment policies," he added.