Whilst people of all ages may be engaged in work of one kind or another, the potential pool of workers is typically considered to be limited to those aged between 15 and 64 years.  In many countries, compulsory schooling tends to end at age 15/16 and retirement has, historically, commenced at age 65 - though in practice many young people remain in full-time education beyond age 16, and many people delay retirement well beyond their 65th birthday.

Nevertheless, the working age population provides an indication of the maximum number of people in an economy who can reasonably be expected to be economically active. The number of people in this age group is therefore defined as the working-age population.

This can offer an indication of whether the need for workers (demand) in a country is in balance with the number of persons available for work (supply). In doing so, it can offer an estimate of how many persons are likely to be available to meet a growing demand, if the total number of available jobs is increasing - or how many may be affected if the total number of jobs is declining.

Note: All estimations are Skills intelligence Team own calculations based on Eurostat data.