The Ageing Population: Societal Response and Their Implications to Business and Industry in Selected ASEAN Countries

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Worldwide, the population comprising the elderly is growing rapidly. Lower fertility coupled with declining mortality rates across countries have resulted to a higher number of older people. This demographic phenomenon, also known as population ageing or demographic ageing, is happening globally, both in the developed and less developed regions of the world. Population ageing is one of the most prominent demographic trends today.

While the proportion of senior citizens is higher in countries that are more developed economically, most of the elderly population will be from the less developed regions, in terms of absolute numbers. Because of the rapid increase in the population of the elderly, there is a possibility that developing nations will become old before they become affluent. Governments and social institutions in these less developed nations will be burdened by the increased demands for healthcare and may not be ready to manage the demands of an older populace if they are not prepared for this demographic transition.

This paper explores the factors related to this demographic trend and compares the responses of government and society in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore to this phenomenon.

The goal of this paper is to stimulate the industry to consider investing in business endeavors that address issues related to an ageing population. It is hoped that actions taken by the business sector will supplement and complement existing societal responses and interventions.