Changes in the population age structure
The population age structure is demonstrated by the ratio of population in3 major age groups: Youth (aged under 15), Working-age (aged 15-59), andElderly (aged 60 and over). The percentage of Thai youth and working-age population will continue to decline from the year 2010 to 2040, while that of the elderly will increase continuously, from 13.2 percent in 2010 to 32.1 percent in 2040. Interestingly,the percentage of youth population is projected to equal that of the elderly population in 2017 (Figure1.1)
Number and percentage of elderly population
The statistics in Table1.1, derived from the Population Projections for Thailand during 2010-2040, indicates that the percentage of the late-elderly (aged 80 and over) population will increase sharply from approximately 12.7 percent to almost one-fifth of the total elderly population. The rise is attributable to improved life expectancy in the elderly, which also results in an increasing number of population who are economically, socially, and physically dependent.
When considering the distribution of the elderly population by gender, it is found
that the female elderly accounts for 55.1 percent in 2010, and will have increased to 56.8 percent in 2040. The late-elderly female group, in especial, will have increased from 13.9 in 2010 to 21.3 percent in 2040, as they tend to live longer than their male counterpart.
The elderly population is forecast to increase in the municipal and urban
areas. In 2010, a total of 3.3 million elderly resided in the municipal areas, accounting for 39.7 percent. The number is expected to have increased to 11.6 million or 59.8 percent in 2040 due to the urbanization trend in Thailand.
Total population increase rate in comparison to elderly population increase rate.
According to the Population Projections for Thailand, 2010-2040, the total population increase rate is continuing downward into a negative rate. The phenomenon will be experienced from the years 2025-2030 onward. Meanwhile, the growth of the elderly population, although on the declining trend, remains at a much higher level comparatively.
The situation results from a sharp decrease in fertility (Figure1.2).