Global Health & Medicine
Online ISSN : 2434-9194
Print ISSN : 2434-9186
Aging and shrinking population: The looming demographic challenges of super-aged and super-low fertility society starting from Asia
Hiroki Nakatani
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2023 Volume 5 Issue 5 Pages 257-263


The world is generally getting more prosperous and healthier, and people live longer. Japan, with the world's most advanced population aging, has made various efforts over the past half-century to prepare for the aging society. Globally, many countries observe today's rapid demographic changes accompanied by low birth rate and start acknowledging population shrinkage as a looming challenge beyond that of population aging. The world will face dual challenges of population aging and shrinkage, but these two issues have been considered in isolation. In addition, the progression differs from region to region and country to country, preventing policymakers from taking a future-back approach to address the core challenges. This issue of Global Health & Medicine carries two valuable articles on population aging and related policies reported by staff members of the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This paper will consider the importance of aging and low fertility rate (declining birthrate) as global issues by placing the WHO and UNFPA articles in a broader context. Population aging and shrinkage overlap and significantly impact society through health issues. Still, the impact on countries, regions, and the world will become obvious with a time lag. Therefore, this paper advocates analyzing and critically reviewing the experience of countries in which demographic changes are already well advanced, and sharing them with the world. This will contribute significantly to those regions and countries that will walk the same path in the future.

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© 2023 National Center for Global Health and Medicine
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