Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies

Demographic change in the Asian Century: implications for Australia and the region

By Peter McDonald

 

Declining fertility and mortality rates in the second half of the twentieth century have led to the twenty-first century being characterised as the century of the aging population. Concurrently, the decline in the numbers of young people entering the labour force is exacerbating the problems arising from the aging population. Implications of these trends are analysed for a variety of Asian countries. Labour force growth in India and Pakistan will be sufficient to compensate for the shrinking labour forces in Europe and Asia excluding the massive fall in China; outsourcing labour to South Asia will be an increasing trend in the twenty-first century. The Asian countries with less problematic demographic structures are instead facing economic challenges and require education and training to improve labour productivity.

(Photo: Asian Development Bank on flickr)

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