By 2042, there will be more people aged over 65 in Asia than the populations of the Eurozone and North America combined. Those in Asia aged over 65 will grow from 365 million in 2017 to more than 520 million in 2027.
This will provide a target-rich environment of business opportunities, focused on a growth cluster targeting megatrends such as rising life expectancies, increasing relative health care costs, and tightening public sector budgets, according to Deloitte's "Voice of Asia" report.
The report says that three big accelerators drive industry opportunities in an ageing Asia, with each building on the other. They are:
- Asia is ageing fast, with a billion people in the region to be aged 65 and over by the middle of this century.
- The money being spent by and on ageing populations will grow even faster than Asia ages, because the impact of new technologies and the on-going management of increasing chronic conditions means healthcare costs will rise faster than most other costs.
- Private sector opportunities will grow even faster still, because stretched government budgets mean the share of health-related costs borne by taxpayers is likely to decrease in the decades ahead.
In particular, India is set to rise as an economic superpower, driven in part by demographic changes. Following the rise of Japan and then China in decades past, India will drive the third great wave of Asia's growth. Its potential workforce is set to rise from 885 million people today to 1.08 billion people in the next 20 years, and it will remain above a billion people for half a century.
Anis Chakravarty, Deloitte India Economist, explained: "India will account for more than half of the increase in Asia's workforce in the coming decade, but this isn't just a story of more workers: these new workers will be much better trained and educated than the existing Indian workforce, and there will be rising economic potential coming alongside that, thanks to an increased share of women in the workforce, as well as an increased ability and interest in working for longer. The consequences for businesses are huge."