S. Korea becoming most rapidly aging country in the world

December 9, 2015


By Brian Han

In South Korea, 80 percent of people view a rapidly growing aging population as a “major problem” according to the latest report by World Bank.

Those concerns are valid across Asia, which happens to be aging faster than any other part of the world, but in South Korea especially.

The research institute took a peek into trends in the working-age population.

What did it find?

That although many Southeastern Asian countries happen to be experiencing the same phenomenon, South Korea’s working-age population (defined as those between the ages of 15 and 64) could decrease by more than 15 percent within the next 25 years.

China, Japan and Thailand trailed at a potential 10 percent decrease across the same period of time.

“This region, which has always thought of itself quite rightly as being youthful and dynamic, is now poised to age faster than any other region in history,” World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific chief economist Sudhir Shetty said.

He claims that the primary reasons contributing to the developing issue include a sharp decline in fertility levels due to aging as well as technological advancements in medicine prolonging lives much longer than they had in the past.

But Shetty has a solution to offset the possible negative repercussions of the trend.

These countries should encourage more women to join the labor force by means including childcare reform, while also restructuring pension systems to be affordable for younger people.