My post is going to summarize and discuss about the interesting presentation: “Thailand in the throes of Demographic Transition” by Kathleen Colley from University of Cincinnati.
She addressed that the declining fertility rates and aging population in Thailand is a big problem over the past five decades The main causes are the economic issues like people don’t want to give a birth because they can’t afford to pay the tuition for their child.
As she mentioned about the issues associated with aging population, dependency ratio in 2014 is 56% and it will reach 100% by 2070 if the government don’t take any serious solution. And in 2017, Thailand will reach peak working age population and it will be the 4th Asian nation to reach working agee (following Japan, China, and South Korea). Regarding to the development of Thailand, manufacturers might leave Thailand in favor of “younger” countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia and Indonesia.
She said that at the moment, Thailan hasn’t had any official policies in place to address shrinking/aging workforce. One suggestion by Therdsak Chomtohsuwan, economics professor, Rangsit University, Bangkok is that singles and childless couples be taxed.
Her recommendations are that Thailand can learn from other countries like: South Korea with the efforts to improve access to child care and education, the “Baby bonuses” of Chile, Australia to transfer payment to families after birth of third child instead of punishing childless.
Besides that, she recommended creative solutions to issues with aging population: create more jobs for the elder.
Economy decline or the awareness of people?
On my opinions, the economy decline is definitely an important reason to make the fertility drops every year. But one of the most reasonable causes is the awareness of people about having and raising a child.
As a student used to study in Thailand said, the tuition for school isn’t really expensive and the government do still support those who isn’t in bad financial condition.
I want to have a reflection on my country: We have a young population even our economy isn’t better than Thailand. For many family, they enjoy having many childs in their house.
I used to live in Italy and Taiwan, these two countries are developed countries. Many couples they have good job, good income but they still don’t want to have kid because they are just afraid of losing freedom or getting trouble with kids. They think having and raising a kid is so tiring and can make them enjoy their life.
That kind of perception not only exist in Italy, Taiwan but still be seen in many countries. People is more thinking about enjoying life without children.
But they should know that raising children is trouble but somehow those kids will bring them the happiness and the meaning, purpose of their life.
For me, if they can change their awareness of having children, they could be willing to have more childs. Thailand and many countries can tackle the declining fertility rates and aging populations.
By Hiep Cu.
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