Asia is expected to be home to over 60% of the total population aged 65 years or older worldwide by the 2030s, according to Deloitte in its latest Voice of Asia report released on Tuesday (Sept 19).
By 2042 – in just a quarter of a century – there will be more over-65s in Asia than the populations of the Eurozone and North America combined.
Those in Asia aged over 65 will grow from 365 million in 2017 to over 520 million in 2027.
These drastic shifts in the region’s demographic makeup could be shifting the balance of power in Asia, and has led to a wake-up call across the economic landscape.
China, one of Asia’s ageing giants, may “get old before it fully succeeds in getting rich” while India’s growing young population is just realizing its economic potential, says Deloitte.
However, while ageing markets may pose significant challenges, they don’t have to signify the dearth of booming market growth in the region.
“Growth clusters” of vibrant business at the epicenter of the collision of mega-trends will present incredible business opportunities in these aging markets.
Such mega-trends include rising life expediencies, increasing relative health care costs, and tightening public sector health budgets
In Singapore, the ageing population is likely to drive growth in three main industry sectors: asset management services, child-care and elderly-care industries and the healthcare sector (including private health care, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, nutrition and supplements).
The nation has also turned to automation, intelligent machines, and data analytics to cope with decreasing numbers of available workers and to increase productivity, found the report.
However, measures put in place by the government to combat the low birth rate and growing grey demographic group has also led to foreseeable issues.
These include a widening income inequality gap, the exacerbation of wealth inequality due to the concentration of wealth in smaller families, and a workforce that is struggling to cope with the rapid introduction of new technology.