The Aging Population's Impact on Productivity, Labor, Health and Social Security in South Asia

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            II nd, B.A ECONOMICS
             LOYOLA COLLEGE
             CHENNAI, INDIA.

Population growth and fall play important roles in shaping the destiny of any country's economic growth, and at the same time, the demographic transition of any country is equally important. In my paper i have chosen to counter the effects of ageing population in South Asia. Ageing population today is becoming a major problem in many countries, especially in areas of productivity and wealth creation. It is also becoming a national responsibility as it affects urban family life and involves social security. In the coming years, some Asian countries - the People's Republic of China (PRC), Japan, Republic of Korea and Singapore among them - are expected to experience declining populations.This trend poses new challenges for Asia's policy makers. How will economies increase productivity so that shrinking workforces can maintain expanding pools of retirees? How will society cope with the changing health and financial needs of an ageing population? What policy changes will be needed to adjust to these changing demographics? For example, should society extend the age of retirement to let a healthier older generation continue working? What will be the impact on pension and social security systems?At the other end of the scale, countries such as the Philippines and Bangladesh continue to maintain high birth rates - with equally challenging implications for job creation, food security, and environmental stress. The majority of the region's population growth is forecast to come from South Asia, which expects to add 570 million people in India, 200 million in Pakistan, and 130 million in Bangladesh over the next 50 years.These are certain questions which have to be looked into seriously.


The ageing of human populations has emerged as one of the most significant and universal demographic processes as we move into the twenty-first century. By the year 2000, almost one in ten of the world's population were aged 60 years or over but, considering the more developed countries only, that proportion jumps to virtually one in every five persons .The proportions which fall into this category for East and South-East Asia in the year 2000 are estimated to be 11.0 and 7.2 per cent respectively, up from 7.3 and 5.3 per cent in 1960. These relatively small increases over 40 years in percentage terms mask substantial increases in absolute numbers, with an increase from 60 million in East Asia in 1960 to 163.8 million in 2000, and from 12 to 37 million in South-East Asia (See TABLE-I).The challenges faced by industrial countries in the West and Japan with the prospective retirement of the "baby-boom" generation are well recognized. Governments face a growing financial burden from pension costs, medical care, and possibly long-term care, implying either sharp increases in taxes or a reneging on the promised level of benefits. But less appreciated is the fact that many Asian countries also face their own demographic "time bomb." Although they lag two decades or so behind the industrial countries, the sharp decline in fertility rates and rising longevity will result in a growing proportion of elderly people, relative to both the overall population and the number of working-age people, by 2020–30.Asian countries sit astride the "demographic transition" at various points (see TABLE-II). Some, such as Korea and Singapore, are much more advanced in the process, with the elderly dependency rate (EDR)—the ratio of elderly to the working-age population—converging to industrial country levels by 2030 and with further dramatic increases forecast in subsequent years. Korea is said to have the fastest rate of aging in the world. China...
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