Brunei to face ageing population from 2020: minister

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN -- Brunei will move towards an ageing population after the year of 2020, Haji Aminuddin Ihsan,the sultanate's Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, said on Sunday.

"According to statistics from the Department of Economic Planning and Development in 2016, the age group of those over 65 is approximately 6 percent of the total population, an increase by 0.1 percent from the previous year," the minister was quoted as saying at a forum by local daily the Borneo Bulletin on Sunday.

"This is in line with the United Nations Development Programme's Asia-Pacific Regional Human Development report of the same year that placed Brunei Darussalam in the middle of transition," he said.

"The report said that the Sultanate will continue to see a large jump in the working-age population until 2020, after which the increase will slow down and move towards an ageing population. In other words, the demographic landscape of Brunei Darussalam is going to change soon," the minister added.

At the same forum, Hoon Chang Yau, Director of Center for Advanced Research at Universiti Brunei Darussalam said that the ageing of the population looms large as a social challenge in Asian societies.

"Japan was the first country that started to feel the pressure in East Asia, and in the coming decade, other countries in the region such as China, South Korea, Singapore as well as Brunei Darussalam will all face similar challenges," he said.

"The elderly population in Brunei Darussalam is projected to increase by 7.8 percent in 2021. This will qualify Brunei as an ageing nation where older persons are in excess of seven percent of the total population," he added. (Xinhuanet)