September 29, 2014

South Korea has fastest-ageing population in OECD, study shows

South Korea has the fastest-ageing population of all the advanced economies, according to new data published by the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade (KIET).

According to the research, over-65s now account for 12.2% of the Korean population. Although this remains one of the lower proportions among OECD countries, it is also growing at the fastest pace. The older population in South Korea has increased fourfold since 1970, compared to the OECD average growth rate of 1.6 over this period.

The study found that Japan and Finland, respectively, had the second and third fastest growth rate of older people.

Aging populations are a growing issue across all the advanced economies. By 2050, it is forecast that 31% of Canada’s population will be over the age of 60. Meanwhile, the UK’s 75+ demographic is set to double to 10 million by 2040.

Our author Changzoo Song has written about how the South Korean government has responded to its ageing population with its diaspora engagement program. He argues that engaging with citizens based overseas has brought substantial benefits to the Korean economy in the face of a demographic crisis, and that similar policies could benefit other small countries with large diaspora populations.

Read more here.

Related articles:
Engaging the diaspora in a period of transnationalism, by Changzoo Song
How responsive is the labor market to tax policy? by Richard Blundell