Population ageing is accelerating around the world; however, every country is ageing at a different pace. In France, it took 115 years for the number of people aged 65 and older to increase from 7 to 14% of the national population, whereas in Japan, this change in demographic took only 26 years.
By mid-century, half of the global population aged 60 and older will be in Asia, with the highest rates in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. A recent Forbes article outlines that with this demographic change comes great possibilities for Asia. Increasing longevity can drive growth for companies to target innovations to the ageing population, and inter-generational workforces will drive the business of the future. There is however a cautionary note: a longer life lived in poor health is not a reward to the individual or society.
Many countries are turning their sights to certain countries in Asia where policy innovations and technology create an enabling environment for an ageing population. Japan, for example, incentives employers that retain older workers; South Korea has invested in smartphone and communication products to optimize engagement for older people; and some tertiary institutions in China offer older people skills and networking opportunities. Contact IFA Expert Prof Rintaro Mori, Regional Advisor on Population Ageing and Sustainable Development, UNFPA Asia-Pacific Office, for the latest successful age-focused policies and practices in Asia.
The Forbes article notes that government officials in Asia, and leaders in health and business are inspired and connected to the potential of the World Health Organization (WHO) ‘Decade of Healthy Ageing’ (2020 – 2030). Ms Alana Officer, Senior Health Advisor of the WHO Ageing and Life Course department will open the IFA 15th Global Conference on Ageing “Rights Matter” in Niagara Falls, Canada on the Decade of Healthy Ageing as a focal point for current and future generations of global citizens.
Be part of driving the agenda for the world’s ageing population by registering for the IFA 15th Global Conference on Ageing, and join delegates from more than 60 countries to learn from one another’s policies and practice for an ageing population. Key themes include Addressing Inequalities, Age-Friendly Environments, Combating Ageism, and Enabling Functional Ability.
Rintaro Mori Regional Adviser for Population Ageing and Sustainable Development
Involved in research/aid-works in Madagascar, Bangladesh and Mongolia, as well as research in health systems & women’s & children’s health