Ageing Populations Threat to Asian Growth

Ageing Populations Threat to Asian Growth

20/04/17

Paul Nicholson, Asia House

Standard Chartered, a founding stakeholder of Asia House, says that Asia’s ageing populations will get old before they get rich, creating a drag on growth, in a new report.

Japan, Korea, Thailand and Singapore all have populations with a rising ageing demographic, with China having 131 million over 65s. By 2035, these societies will become ‘hyper-aged’, defined by OECD as a 21% over 65. The economic drag on growth will be felt by 2020, according to the report, featured in the Bangkok Post.

The burden on public finances in healthcare and pensions will prove a challenging policy issue in Asia if the trend accelerates. Improved fertility rates to boost the younger population and improved education to raise economic activity are factors to mitigate the impact of ageing demographics.

The report comes as China announces tax cuts of $55 billion in efforts to boost growth, encouraging spending on private health insurance, according to CNN reports.