BANGKOK, April 10 – Thailand ranks second after Singapore among Southeast Asian countries with the highest number of elderly people and it will become a complete ageing society in the next seven years, according to the Public Health Ministry.
Jedsada Chockdamrongsuk, director general of the Mental Health Department, said the latest census on December 31, 2013 reported there were almost 9 million people older than 60 years, representing 14 per cent of Thailand’s population. There are more women than men.
The number of the country’s elderly will jump to 13 million, or one-fifth of the population, in the next seven years and it will become a fully ageing society in 2031.
Ageing societies are those in which the number of people older than 60 exceed the number of children, and in Thailand that is projected to occur for the first time in the Thai history in 2018, he said.
Dr Jedsada said the number of people older than 65 in the world reached 8 per cent of the global population of 7 billion people two years ago. The country ranks second after Singapore with the highest number of elderly people.
April 13, Songkran Day, is Thailand’s National Day of the Elderly.