Longer Lives Must Be Planned For

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Global ageing is a success story. People today are living longer and healthier lives. This represents the triumph of public health, medical advancement, and economic development.

Ageing is an expression of the success of the process of human growth, as it is the result of lower mortality (combined with reduced fertility) and longer longevity. Ageing provides new opportunities, associated with the active participation of older generations in both the economy and society at large.

According to United Nations in their publication of Ageing in the Twenty-First Century (2012), an ageing population refers to a phenomenon in which older individuals become a proportionately larger share of the total population because of declining fertility and increasing life expectancy.

In 2010, an estimated 524 million people were aged 65 or older which is around 8 per cent of the world’s population. By 2050, this number expected to triple to about 1.5 billion, representing 16 per cent of the world’s population.

Malaysia in 2019 registered 3.4 million of her population ages 60 years and above representing 10.3 per cent of the total population. It estimated for 2020, this number will increase to 3.5 million or 10.7 per cent.

It expected in the next 10 years, 15 per cent of Malaysia’s population will be at least 60 years old.

Since different age groups have different needs and productive capacities, a country’s economic characteristics will likely change as its population ages.

Longer lives must be planned for. Societal ageing may affect economic growth and many other issues, including the sustainability of families, the ability of states and communities to provide resources for older citizens, and international relations.

Managing population ageing also needs building needed infrastructure and institutions as soon as possible. The longer we delay, the more costly and less effective the solutions are likely to be.

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