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Suggested Citation:"Looking To The Future." National Research Council. 2011. Preparing for the Challenges of Population Aging in Asia: Strengthening the Scientific Basis of Policy Development. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12977.
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Preparing for the Challenges of Population Aging in Asia: Strengthening the Scientific Basis of Policy Development VI looKing to the future t he asia of 2050 will be much different from the asia of today. People are living increas- ingly longer and healthier lives, and birthrates are declining. as a result, during the next few decades most countries’ populations will contain a significantly larger percent- age of older people than is the case today. these demographic shifts are taking place alongside many other rapid social and economic changes that are transforming the lives of older people across the region. in attempting to develop appropriate policy responses, policy makers can benefit both from a clearer understanding of the current situation of older people and an improved understanding of how the changes described above are likely to affect the lives of older people in the future. fortunately, because these changes are occurring over several decades, there is still time to strengthen the evidentiary basis for policy development. a window of opportunity exists, but it will not stay open indefinitely.  PreParing for the Challenges of PoPulation aging in asia Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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Preparing for the Challenges of Population Aging in Asia discusses the challenges posed by a rapidly aging population and identifies needed research to help policymakers better respond to them. While the percentage of elderly people in nearly every nation is growing, this aging trend is particularly stark in parts of Asia. Projections indicate that the portion of the population age 65 and older will more than triple in China, India, and Indonesia and more than double in Japan between 2000 and 2050, based on data from the United Nations. Moreover, this demographic shift is coinciding with dramatic economic and social changes in Asia, including changing family structures and large-scale migrations from rural to urban areas.

These trends raise critical questions about how nations can develop policies that best support health and economic well-being in large and growing populations at older ages. Governments in Asia still have time to determine the best ways to respond to the unfolding demographic transformation, but taking advantage of this window of opportunity will require new research to shed light on the status and needs of the aging population. Currently the research base on aging in this region is relatively underdeveloped. This book identifies several key topics for research to inform public policy, including changing roles in the family; labor force participation, income, and savings; and health and well-being of the public.


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