Kasikorn Research Centre says that because of a drop in population over the past three years, Thailand is likely to become a “super-aged society” by 2029. The study also shows that between 2020 and 2022, there will be less babies and teenagers.
Researchers said that the number of babies born started to drop sharply in 2020, which was the year the pandemic was found, and kept going down for the next two years. At the same time, the death rate went up.
Even worse, the birth rate in the country is now 0.76 percent per year, and only 1.33 percent of the people are teenagers.
These numbers are very different from what happened in Thailand during the Baby Boomers age, which includes people born between 1963 and 1983. This year, one million Baby Boomers will turn 60.
Researchers said that many things, like the pandemic and people’s worries about money, are adding to this trend of population decline. Some people are deciding not to have children, which is a more recent trend that is also affecting these numbers.
KResearch said that it might be hard for the country to only focus on ways to increase the number of people living there, since this could affect both companies and public policies.
Furthermore, businesses are in a tough spot because the population is going down, which means there are fewer potential customers. To make up for the lost income, businesses need to focus on people with more money to spend.
It also suggested making changes to goods or services to make them easier for older people to use, since most of them have money problems, and thinking about these services in the context of a global market that is getting older.
Aside from that, it suggested that the training and development phase for new workers be sped up so that businesses can act quickly to business trends that change quickly.
KResearch said that the new cabinet might also have to deal with the worrying problem of the country’s shrinking population when making decisions about the country’s competitiveness and social welfare programs.
Thailand’s super aged society
Based on what the United Nations says, a country is an Aged Society if more than 14% of its population is 65 or older. It is an Ageing Society if more than 7% of its population is 65 or older. When this number goes over 20%, the country is said to be a “Super Aged Society.”
Following in the footsteps of Japan (1994), Hong Kong (2012), South Korea (2017), Taiwan (2019), and Singapore (2021), Thailand will be the sixth economy in Asia to become a “aged society” in 2023, when 14.15 percent of its population is 65 or older. In the last 20 years, Thailand has become a “aging society.”
In 2003, 7.02 percent of the country’s population was considered “aged.” By 2029, it is expected that Thailand will join Japan as a Super-Aged Society, which means that more than 20% of the people will be over 65.
The longevity effect has helped slow down the aging process over the last few decades. Because of improvements in medicine and better access to health care, people are living longer. This means that a person’s chronological age no longer properly shows how old they are in terms of their biology.
To show this, a graph of Thailand’s life expectancy shows that a 70-year-old Thai today is at the 89.95 percentile of the 2021 life expectancy, which is about the same as a 51-year-old in 1970. In other words, people who are 70 years old today are physically no older than people who were 51 years old 50 years ago.
The traditional three-stage life
In a three-stage life, people go to school, start working, and leave all around the same time. People tend to go to school, get a job, and retire around the same age, so all three steps happen pretty quickly after each other. This way of life may have been fine in the past, when things changed slowly. It might be out of date in our fast-paced, modern world.
As the pace of life speeds up, the traditional three-stage life could change into a series of stages that mix and match different jobs in an open-loop, on-off way. We could get a degree or work without one in our 20s, 30s, or even 60s. We could work in management in our 30s, 50s, or 70s, and we could start a business at any age.
As people live longer and are healthy for longer, we need to change how we think about work and life in general. This means that we need to change the way we think about education and traditional job paths. Longevity isn’t just about living longer; it’s also about staying young longer and not getting old until much later.
Because people are living longer, they may need to work well past the age they thought they would quit. If you are in your 40s, you may have to work until you are in your 70s. If you are in your 20s, you may have to work until you are in your late 70s or early 80s.
To deal with the way people are getting older and living longer, governments should make policies that focus on both of these things. People are having longer and healthier lives, which makes this even more true. So, it is important to have policies that are flexible enough to let older people enjoy the benefits of living longer and being more active.
Countries that stay young and have a lot of people will do well in the coming decades. As countries have fewer babies and their workers get older, they will need to bring in more people from other countries who have the skills they need. Without new talent coming in to replace the old, these countries will have low economic output, a large number of elderly people, and not enough young adults to care for them.
New People to help drive progress
Thailand is known for hiring people from countries close by. But besides hiring people without skills to do boring jobs, how can we compete with other Asian countries to get the smartest people to help drive progress? It won’t be easy to win the fight for talent from around the world.
Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, which are more developed, have access to a lot of talent from around the world at the producing stage. Thailand should try to find and train people with these kinds of skills while they are still young, even in school, because there are a lot of empty spots in our universities.
In reaction, Thailand should include measures to deal with the importation of foreign talent in its National Strategy. This will help Thailand get ready to become a Super Aged Society in 2029.
The government should come up with a comprehensive plan to help local universities change and become more international so that they can get more foreign students. The country will gain from this influx of foreign students because they will graduate, get jobs, and create business opportunities, new ideas, and job prospects.