Asia's Aging Population To Pressure Global Economy

Reid K. profile picture
Reid K.

By Reid Kirchenbauer

With advancements in technology, mankind now has ways to extend life beyond that which nature allows. This has led to the increase in the average lifespan, and even the option to artificially keep a person alive.

Generally, when a person lives longer, it is seen as a good thing as he/she is allowed to spend more time with his/her family. However, from the perspective of the economy and administration of the population, it's a headache to accommodate senior citizens while deciding whether to increase public spending on healthcare. In fact, throughout much of East Asia and ASEAN, an aging population is putting pressure on entire governments and economies.

In order to take countermeasures, a correct understanding of the factors contributing to an aging population must be understood. These include not only better standards of living, but also low fertility rates.

Furthermore, each individual country has their own unique obstacles. In China, the one-child policy that was in place between 1980 and 2015 led to a steep fall in fertility rates. Even though the policy has since been lifted, an economist at Moody's Analytics said that once fertility rates fall to a certain level, it is extremely difficult to reverse them. Meanwhile in Japan, strict immigration policies combined with low fertility rates have caused problems.

Some countries, on the other hand, have realized the problem and have taken appropriate measures. While Singapore has similarly low fertility rates, pro-immigration policies have helped to keep the state's population growth healthy. The Singaporean government has even launched an online dating portal aimed at helping working professionals find love and marriage, eventually leading to higher birth rates. The country's Social Development Network has personals on their website and holds frequent matchmaking events for singles.

World Bank, Major Companies See Little Reason for Optimism

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Reid K. profile picture
I'm a Los Angeles native currently living in Southeast Asia. I've invested in stocks and private equity since a very young age and am familiar trading on the U.S., Singaporean and Thai exchanges. I love nothing more than being on the ground in emerging markets and seeing the amazing opportunities to be had in Asia and elsewhere. It's even better to observe the companies in this part of the world, both listed and unlisted, and share their developments with others while having a firsthand view of the economic situation in Asia.

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