11 September 2015
The latest July 2015 United Nations World Population Prospects (UNWPP) paints a sober picture of Singapore’s demographic situation. A rapidly ageing population has severe implications but emerging technologies can cushion its impact.
According to United Nations World Population Prospects (UNWPP), Singapore will become a super-aged society in 2026. By then, one in five persons in the country or 1,258,441 will be aged 65 or above. The median age will exceed 44.9 (from just 18.1 in 1965) meaning that half of the population will be at least 44.9 years old. When Singapore gained independence in 1965, just 2.65% of the population or 49,757 were aged 65 or above.
But drastic improvement in life expectancy and a sharp fall in the country’s birth rate have lead to rapid population ageing. Between 1965 and 2014, life expectancy jumped by 16.1 years while birth rate plummeted from 29.0 births per 1000 population to just 9.1. The net result is a rapidly ageing population. Furthermore, this trend is unlikely to be reversed anytime soon as life expectancy is projected to climb further while the birth rate is expected to continue falling. Belying the jubilee, Singapore is sitting on a demographic time bomb.
… Tan Teck Boon is a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 25/09/2015