Ageing population globally
The world’s population has been ageing at an unprecedented pace. According to the projections of the United Nations, the number of people aged 60 or above will rise from 901 million in 2015 to 2.1 billion in 2050, moving from 12% to 22% of the total world population.
Ageing population in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is facing an ageing population. The trend of an ageing population is expected to be more apparent in the years ahead. In 2015, there were about 1.12 million elderly people, representing 15% of Hong Kong’s total population of 7.3 million, meaning that approximately one in seven people is an elderly person aged 65 or above. According to the latest Government’s projection, our population will continue to grow at a decelerating pace in the next few decades, reaching 8.2 million in 2040 of which almost one out of three people (about 2.5 million) will be aged 65 or above.
Hong Kong’s ageing population is the combined result of rising life expectancy and declining fertility rate. As shown in the following diagrams, the increasing proportion of elderly people and declining proportion of younger people will result in an inverted population pyramid in 2040.
Data Source: Hong Kong Population Projections published by the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in September 2015
Challenges and opportunities brought by ageing population
The ageing population will bring new challenges and opportunities to the society. The increase in the proportion of elderly people will result in a surge of public expenditure on healthcare services and social welfare, while a fall in the proportion of working population will likely lead to a shrinking labour force. Nevertheless, many older people are healthy, active and well-educated. They can continue to contribute to their families and the community, by, for instance, providing volunteer services, participating in community services and taking care of younger family members. In response to the ageing population, many societies attach great importance to building an age-friendly city where senior citizens can enjoy their golden years in a positive, meaningful and dignified manner.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust’s Elderly Strategy
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust (“The Trust”) has taken a proactive role in tackling the challenges of ageing population, and stipulated building Hong Kong into an age-friendly city as one of the overarching strategic themes in the coming three to five years.
The Trust has developed an Elderly Strategy which aims to help elderly people extend their healthy and active years of life and enjoy more fulfilling lives.
There are four strategic priority areas under the strategy, including: (1) exercise, nutrition and preventative health; (2) employment and volunteering; (3) intergenerational harmony; and (4) mental wellness. Building Hong Kong into an age-friendly city spans across all strategic priority areas of the Trust's Elderly Strategy and provides a foundation for actions.