Ageing in Asia
The Unit is conducting both macro-level and micro-level studies of ageing in Asian countries. The macro studies include:
- Detailed analysis of demographic trends in Asian countries in the context of population ageing. The focus of these studies is upon Indonesia and Iran and the low fertility countries of East and Southeast Asia. In particular, we examine past, present and likely future trends in fertility in these countries. This includes, especially for Iran, leading edge methodology which examines fertility trends in terms of three parameters: age, parity and interval since last birth.
- Policy options for the countries with both moderately low and very low fertility rates. We have a long record of providing advice to governments in this area of policy.
- Comparative, overview studies of population and development in all Asian countries including population ageing, demographic dividend, labour supply, internal migration, fertility trends and mortality trends.
At the micro-level, the unit is conducting studies of the needs of older people in rural areas of Indonesia and Iran. The study in Indonesia is supported by the Australian Research Council and CEPAR. Survey work has been completed in10 village settings spread across Indonesia. The villages were carefully chosen to represent communities where large numbers of the children of the older people have migrated out of the village. Our focus is upon how the needs of older people are met when the traditional system of family support is put under pressure because of out-migration of children. The chosen villages cover a range of ethnic groups and varying religious contexts. In each village, all people aged 60 and over are interviewed including proxy interviews for those unable to answer the questionnaire themselves. The data collection consists of around 3,000 detailed quantitative responses and around 160 in-depth interviews with older people, village officials and service providers and higher level policy makers. Early results from the study have been presented to policy makers through the Indonesian National Planning Board.
We plan to conduct a similar study in Iran and pilot interviews have already been conducted. This work links to similar studies that are being conducted in other Asian countries.
Professor Peter McDonald (Unit Head)
Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research