Number of senior citizens in population rising: POPCOM
The number of senior citizens, those above 60 years old, have risen due to longer life expectancy and healthier lifestyle, Commission on Population (POPCOM) Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III said.
In a “Laging Handa” briefing Wednesday, Perez said : ''The improvement of life expectancy of seniors and the increase in their population is because of their healthier lifestyle. The senior citizens are more educated and make better choices in life. That’s why they’re increasing,” he said.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said the portion of the elderly in the population rose from 5.9 percent in 2000 to 8.5 percent in 2020.
The decline in the number of the younger population shows that they have a lower fertility rate, Perez said.
“Our population was highly fertile until recently. So we have plenty of people from six years old to 14 years old. In the next 10 years, we expect them to be part of the workforce,” he said,
“So, for the next ten years, our workforce will continue to increase and this is what we call an advantage ? our younger population decrease while our workforce will increase. That means we have to create a situation wherein the workforce is more employed. So that the working age population can support the increasing number of senior citizens,” he added.
Perez said the decline in the fertility rate began in 2020 and they expect the senior citizen population to peak in 15 years or in 2035.
“This implies that our demographic opportunity to take advantage of our large working population and a small younger population will be only for 15 years. Other countries had more time and they enjoyed greater economic benefits. But in our case, we were behind because of the decline in the fertility rate. So we will have a smaller window of opportunity to take advantage of this demographic transition,” he said. Jaspearl Tan/DMS