February 6, 2014

Demographic Clocks Ticking All across Asia

By Bruce Stokes, Director of Global Economic Attitudes, Pew Research Center

Special to Nikkei

East Asia’s demographic clock is ticking, and it’s loudest in Japan. But by the middle of the century South Korea may face an equal aging challenge, with China not far behind. Meanwhile, few East Asians are confident of an adequate standard of living in their old age. And fewer than half look to their government to be able to ensure their economic well-being in their twilight years despite dramatic expected increases in public spending on the elderly.

The good news is that East Asians’ perceptions of their demographic future are in line with demographic reality. The bad news is they have a fairly bleak perspective on what their life is likely to be like in their twilight years.

In 2010, the median age in Japan was already 45, the oldest among all major nations.

Read more at Nikkei