Asia-Pacific Population Journal, Vol. 14, No. 4, December 1999
  • E-ISSN: 15644278


While rapid population growth, resulting from high fertility combined with lowered mortality, has been the major demographic issue of public, political and scientific concern in much of Asia during most of the last half century, population ageing is poised to replace it as the major demographic preoccupation in the twentyfirst century (Lutz, Sanderson and Scherbov, 1997). Figure 1 makes clear why this is so. The last half of the twentieth century, especially the last three decades, has been marked by rapid fertility decline. According to the latest United Nations estimates and projections, by the year 2000, the total fertility rate (TFR) declined to 2.5 births per woman, or to just 43 per cent of its 1950 level of 5.9, and only a modest additional reduction is projected over the next 50 years. In contrast, population ageing, as measured by the percentage of the total population aged 60 and older, has only just begun to increase by the year 2000, but will rise rapidly over the next half-century.

Related Subject(s): Population and Demography

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