OBJECTIVE To project the proportion of population 65+ years with severe long-term activity limitations from 2017 to 2047. DESIGN Large population study. SETTING Population living in private households of the European Union (EU) and neighbouring countries. PARTICIPANTS Participants from the EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions aged 55 years and older and living in one of 26 EU and neighbouring countries, who answered the health section of the questionnaire. OUTCOME MEASURES Prevalence of severe long-term activity limitations of particular subpopulations (ie, 55+, 65+, 75+ and 85+ years) by sex and country. RESULTS We find a huge variation in the prevalence of self-reported severe long-term limitations across Europe for both sexes. However, in 2017, about 20% of the female population aged 65 years and above and about 16% of their male counterparts are expected to report severe long-term activity limitations after accounting for differences in reporting. Accounting for cultural differences in reporting, we expect that European countries will have about 21% (decile 1: 19.5%; decile 9: 22.9%) of female and about 16.8% (decile 1: 15.4%; decile 9: 18.1%) of male 65+ years population with severe long-term activity limitations by 2047. CONCLUSIONS Overall, despite the expected increase of life expectancy in European countries, our results suggest almost constant shares of older adults with severe long-term activity limitations within the next 30 years.