Knodel, John E., and Napaporn Chayovan. 2009. Population Ageing and the Well-Being of Older Persons in Thailand: Past trends, current situation and future challenges. UNFPA Thailand.
This report focuses on the rapid demographic change that has taken place in Thailand during the last three to four decades leading to the country becoming the most “aged” in Southeast Asia next only to Singapore. This is explained by the significant declines in fertility (from 6.4 to 1.8) and improvements in longevity (from 52 to 71 years) during the second half of the 20th century. These trends can be attributed to effective government and civil society programmes to improve the health of the population and promote voluntary family planning. This led to population ageing that poses new challenges to families, communities as well as to nations as a whole. Not only will there be more older persons and living longer but there will also be on average far fewer young persons to support them during old age. At the national level, this translates into a dramatic decline in the ratio of the working age population to the population in older ages. The implications of a shrinking tax base and the increasing requirements of resources for health services and social pensions are all too evident from what Japan and Europe are now increasingly faced with.
It is hoped that this report will contribute to an informed discussion of and further research on such issues and provide the Government with evidence for strengthening policies and programmes.
Country of focus: Thailand.