Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

East Asia Pacific ageing faster than anywhere else in history: World Bank
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Dec 9, 2015

The East Asia Pacific region is ageing at a faster rate than any other place in history, the World Bank warned Wednesday, a demographic shift likely to cramp public services and economic growth.

The region, which spans from Myanmar and China's western borders as far east as Japan, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific islands, is now home to a third of the world's over 65s -- some 211 million people.

That lurch towards older populations will have a significant impact on economic growth in a area of the globe that has been financially booming for much of the last two decades, according to the study.

The report is titled "Live Long and Prosper: Aging in East Asia and Pacific" -- a reference to the so-called Vulcan salute from the Star Trek sci-fi series.

Sharp falls in birthrates and a rise in life expectancy will likely heap pressure on public services while economies will struggle to fill the shortfall of working-age employees.

The region "has undergone the most dramatic demographic transition we have ever seen", said Axel van Trotsenburg, regional vice president of the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific Region.

"All developing countries in the region risk getting old before getting rich."

Much of the swing towards a greying population is taken up by China -- home to 130 million over 65s -- but other middle income nations like Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia are also swiftly ageing.

Industrialised East Asian nations such as Japan and South Korea have already experienced decades of ageing populations.

Poorer nations such as Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines will not start to see a significant swing towards an older demographic for another two decades or so.

The report's authors warn most East Asian health systems are not prepared for the demands on healthcare and pensions posed by an ageing populous, compounding the impact of a shrinking workforce.

Calling for "a comprehensive policy approach across the life cycle", the report urged nations to build and invest in childcare, education, healthcare and pensions to off-set the demographic time bomb.

The report recommends a range of reforms such as encouraging more women to join the labour force, a policy Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is currently pushing with limited success.

Industrialised nations like Japan and South Korea also need to open their labour markets up to immigrants, something both nations are historically reluctant to do.

Middle income nations like China, Vietnam and Thailand should also remove incentives in pension systems that often encourage workers to retire early or increase the retirement age, the bank said.

The report's authors estimate that unless reforms are implemented, South Korea's working age population will decline by 15 percent by 2040. China, Japan and Thailand will see a 10 percent reduction over the same period.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Engraved schist slab may depict paleolithic campsites
London, UK (SPX) Dec 08, 2015
A 13,000 year-old engraving uncovered in Spain may depict a hunter-gatherer campsite, according to a study published December 2, 2015 in PLOS ONE by Marcos Garcia-Diez from University of the Basque Country, Spain, and Manuel Vaquero from Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution - IPHES, Spain. Manuel Vaquero suggests that this "paleolithic engraving from northeastern Sp ... read more

US Supreme Court gives nod to assault weapons ban

Climate-change foes winning public opinion war

Higher levels of Fukushima cesium detected offshore

Taking to the hills: tribal groups face up to climate change

Conductor turned insulator amid disorder

World's tiniest temperature sensor can track movement from inside cement

Researchers discover mother of pearl production process

Penn researchers make thinnest plates that can be picked up by hand

Kiribati envisages floating islands in 'crazy' climate plan

Sediment record in deep coral reefs studied

Microwaves improve green workings of materials used to clean wastewater

Quenching the water demands of today's megacities

Arsenic from Chilean mines found in Antarctica

Soil from deep under Oregon's Coast Range unveils frosty past climate

Why Europe will soon be cold

USGS projects large loss of Alaska permafrost by 2100

Peru's unpaid agrarian bonds: My family's quest

Global food system faces multiple threats from climate change

Chemicals that make plants defend themselves could replace pesticides

First fossil peaches discovered in southwest China

Italy's Etna in most dramatic eruption in 20 years

At least two dead in earthquake in Tajikistan

Britain to review defences after floods

7.2-magnitude quake strikes Tajikistan, at least one dead

Lions made famous on television poisoned in Kenya

China, Africa call for homegrown solutions to solving African crises

Elephants: the forgotten giants at Africa-China summit

Cameroon army kills 100 Boko Haram fighters, frees 900 hostages: ministry

The accidental discovery of how to stay young for longer

Engraved schist slab may depict paleolithic campsites

China cloning pioneer offers vision of brave new world

Fossilized Homo erectus skull found in China

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement