The Aging Population and the Global Trend
An Overview of Global and Regional Trends in Aging Population
The most substantial social transformation in the twenty-first century is the increase in aging population. Many countries around the world are currently facing a rapid growth in the number of aging citizens due to low birth rate, longer life expectancy and the baby boomers have become aged, especially in developed countries such as France, Sweden, Japan, Singapore etc. According to World Health Organization (WHO), the number of senior populations aged 60 years or older is expected to increase at least by 3% per year. In 2017, the number of senior populations around the world was 963 million people which was 13% of overall population. Europe got the greatest percentage which is 25% of European population. The growth in aging population occurs in almost every part of the world except Africa. The aging population in the world which is projected to grow to approximately 1.4 billion people in 2030 and 2 billion in 2050 and can reach 3.1 billion in 2100.
The proportion of people aged 60 and above in Asia is projected to increase dramatically, and expected to have the highest number of aging populations in the world. According to Global Age Index, Japan has the largest senior population and will be the very first country in the world that is going to be entitled super-aging society which means it experiences the phenomenon faster than its neighbors. In 2025, The Japanese who were born in the first wave of the baby boomers will reach 75 years-old and older. The elderly population in Japan increases on average 30,000 people each month which is expected to be 37.3% of the total population. South Korea is also facing with a similar situation to Japan, the elderly population is expected to be 31.4% in 2030 which is the second largest senior proportion in Asia. Moreover, China is facing the problem resulting from one child policy that decrease the number of the younger generations. Causing huge aging gap and the shrink in working class. The elder population of China will increase from 15.2% in 2015 to 25.3% in 2030. Cambodia, Pakistan and Laos will remain as the youngest country with the less aging population comparing to other countries in Asia, estimated to have just 10.4%, 8.4% and 8.1% elder population in 2030.
Thailand’s aging population figures are on par with many developed countries, it is ranked as the third rapidly aging population in Asia which is expected to be 26.9% of the total population in 2030, which is equivalent to a quarter of the overall population. Thailand has been moving closer to aging society since 2005 according to the statistics provided by the National Statistic Office of Thailand. By 2016 it is predicted that about11.3 million out of 67.66 million people or 16.7% of the total population will be older than 60 years old and the number will grow even faster. Thailand is speculated to become a full-fledged ageing society in 2022.
Silver Economy, which can be described as a market focusing on senior population’s needs and the economic activities. Silver economy is considered as a new market segment that will generate high income to the global economy in the coming years. As most consumers in this group are believed to have high buying power and always look for activities or a hobby to do after their retirement, such as traveling. Moreover, they are more willing to pay for quality products or innovations that can enhance their quality of life. The seniors normally have better financials than other age groups. Before retirement, those who are between 50 and 59 years old are normally already in the position which allows them to retire early, implying they might have more savings than any other age groups. They are considered as a prospective group of customers that are more likely to spend more on leisure, beauty care products, treatment and other premium products and services.
Therefore, Thailand has to move away from producing traditional products and services to be more focusing on the demand of elderly. The elderly product innovation should combine innovation, technology, creativity, knowledge and know how to develop new products and services that satisfy the senior demographic group who will be potential buyers in the future market.