Current and Projected Elderly Populations in the Countries of East Asia: Implications for Eldercare

Dudley L. Poston Jr , Texas A&M University

Population ageing was not a problem until the modern era, when many populations completed the demographic transitions from high birth and death rates to low rates. In my paper I focus on the phenomenon of ageing in the five countries of East Asia, namely, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and North Korea. I present a series of demographic accounts of their older populations with projections to 2050 and to 2100. I show that these five countries will become older and older as the years go by, and in the decades ahead will be among the oldest countries in the world. I then examine the dependency ratios for these countries and show that their dependency burdens will become very heavy in coming decades; they will be huge and more profound than almost anywhere else in the world. I draw out some of the implications for the provision of eldercare.

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 Presented in Session 6. Health & Mortality & Aging