Demographic change and the demographic dividend in Thailand
Wongoboonsin,Kua; Guest,Philip; Prachuabmoh,Vipan
Asian Population Studies 1(2): 245-256
Publication date: 2005
Associated with a rapid decline in fertility, Thailand is experiencing major changes in its age structure. The proportion of the population aged less than 15 is declining, while the proportion in labour force and older ages is increasing. In 2009, the proportion in labour-force ages will reach a peak of 67.8 per cent and will then decline. Therefore the current demographic situation provides Thailand with the opportunity to increase economic growth, an increase often referred to as a demographic dividend. However, a demographic dividend is not automatically realized. This paper argues that Thailand needs three strategies to obtain the maximum demographic dividend: (1) increase productivity through upgrading the quality of the labour force, implementing appropriate macro-economic policies and reforming the financial system; (2) extend the period during which a potential demographic dividend is obtained by encourageing older persons to remain in the labour force; and (3) develop a regional labour market.