Demographic 'time bomb' or demographic 'dividend': myths surrounding ageing populations in Asia

Priyanka Bhalla, Bill Durodie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


According to the 2009 HSBC ‘The Future of Retirement’ report, the world’s ageing population will increase from 550 million today to 1.4 billion by 2050. Such a big number directly conjures up images of panic in the minds of many; policymakers in particular often emphasise the increase in health care and pension costs because of the projected growing number of persons above the age of 65. The growing ageing population continues to be framed as a ‘burden’ on society and their increase in numbers as a ‘crisis’. This narrative has existed in western Europe, the United States and Japan since the 1980s (Guillemard, 1985; Heller et al., 1986; and OECD 1988a, b and c). However, it is increasingly relevant in Asia, where South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, have joined the group of developed economies which are now facing consistently falling fertility rates and bigger ageing populations. Population giants China and India are also paying more attention to elder care and are worried about the economic and social consequences of ageing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalNTS Alert
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


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