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Aged Population

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According to the report from the United Nations, in 2013, the number of elderly aged 65 or above was 841 millions, which is four times higher than the 202 millions in 1950. It is estimated that the older population will reach 2 billions by 2050. With such growing amount of aging population, every government should be ready for the consequences and come up with effective and practical solutions before it ultimately becomes ‘chronic genocide’.

One of the most significant outcomes brought by the aging population is the vast pressure on the public spending. With the increasing number of elderly, it is expected the public medical expense will grow in a rapid rate, as well as the corresponding facilities needed such as hospitals and clinics. Meanwhile, with a longer life expectancy, governments need to spend more on pensioners for longer period, which is another huge financial burden on both the taxpayers and governments. In addition to the increase in expense, an expanding proportion of aging population also indicates the foreseeable shrinkage in the tax income due to the diminishing amount of labor in the market. Resulting from the aforementioned problems, there may eventually be insufficient capitals for investing in other sectors like education and economical development.

In order to alleviate these drawbacks, there is a practical solution. The root cause for aging population is the decline in birth rate. In Japan, 23.1% of the population was 65 and above, which is the world’s highest. With a view to improve the situation, their government focused its policies on work-life balance. The law allows parents with preschool-aged children to take up 5 days of leave in event of child’s sickness and limiting the amount of overtime to 24 hours per month. These laws aim at lowering the pressure and cost of having children, which are of great concern to couples. Not only can these policies increase the birth rate but it also raises the female employment rate through free childcare. This suggests that if governments can provide extra assistance to parents, both the present and future workforce can be positively stimulated.



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