Mahidol: Thailand tops ASEAN with highest number of senior citizens

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BANGKOK, 19 February 2013 The Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, has indicated that Thailand has the most number of senior citizens in ASEAN, creating concerns for the economy in the future. 

The Institute for Population and Social Research has compared the number of population in the ASEAN community over the past year and found that Thailand tops the list for having the highest number of senior citizens. There are 8.1 million people aged 60 and over in Thailand, accounting for 12% of all citizens. 800,000 of them are 80 years and over.

The institute also indicated that people are at the same time having fewer children, saying the percentage of the elderly to the whole population will continue to rise. It said this will create a problem of elderly dependency.

As a result, Thailand now has the highest elderly dependency rate in ASEAN at 12.8%. Most countries in ASEAN are also having increasing elderly dependency rate, except Vietnam and Laos.

Despite the troubling seniors’ number, Wellness City executive Boonchai Issarapisit, said the Thai society provides a great place for them to live. He stated the happiness index of the elderly in Thailand is the highest in ASEAN, explaining that good physical wellness, public facilities, society and environment are the factors for their happiness.