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This is increasing the burden on its public finances as economic growth stagnates.The most populous country in the world, China, with 1.3 billion people, is also aging fast; its 60-plus population is expected to account for more than a third of the total by 2050, according to the Boston Consulting Group and global reinsurer Swiss Re.In fact in some countries, this demographic dividend is already turning into a tax," said Park.Take the case of Japan, which has the largest number of people above the age of 65 in the world; these older people make up 25 percent of its 128 million-strong population.Singapore has the lowest fertility rate among 222 nations, according to the World Factbook, with a woman expected to give birth to an average 0.78 children during her lifetime.In Japan, the rate of 1.39 has stayed around the same level for the past decade, while in China it is 1.55."In large part, a slowdown in trend growth is a fairly inevitable long-term implication.

"Asia as a whole is aging for sure, and this poses two big strategic challenges," said Donghyun Park, senior economist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB).Currently 60 percent of India's 1.2 billion people are under age 30, according to the United Nations.Its working-age population, between 15 and 64, will grow nearly 18 percent by 2020, compared with only 0.3 percent growth for China, according to Euromonitor International.These trips include sightseeing and speed dating events in upscale hotels, according to local media reports.

Several other Asian countries, such as Thailand, are considering measures like tax incentives and more affordable childcare services to encourage couples to have children. Jones, Professor at the Asian Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, who was recently in Bangkok working on a population report for the Thai government, said authorities are trying to make their labor markets more "family friendly" via longer maternity leave and baby bonuses. For example, Singapore's National Day celebrations in August grabbed international headlines after a three-minute advertisement launched by mint brand Mentos on its You Tube page urged citizens to do their "national duty" and make babies.

But high levels of illiteracy and unemployment are eating into some of this demographic dividend.



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