Author(s): Daved Forde
The world’s population is aging: virtually every country in the world is experiencing growth in the number and proportion of older people. Population aging is poised to become one of the most significant social transformations of the twenty-first century, with implications for nearly all sectors of society - labor and financial markets, the demand for goods and services, housing, transportation and social protection, as well as family structures and intergenerational ties. Thailand is no exception. The objective of this paper is to assess whether Thailand’s senior citizens could be the “silver lining” to this dilemma. More specifically, it seeks to determine if cultivating and maintaining competent older employees is a viable way of expanding the labor pool. Is the perception of old people in Thai Culture changing? Are employees willing to stay employed beyond current retirement age, and will employers be inclined to keep them in the work place? This paper first examines the need for productive aging citizens by looking at the demographic shift in Thailand and its neighbor countries in the ASEAN, focusing first on the terminology relevant to the aging process to clarify the importance of a how the Thai society can strive to engage and encourage a productive aging generation. Following, the paper will specify the demographic profiles of aging in Thailand from the past and the present as well as examine the implications for the future. Current legal policies regarding an aging society in Thailand will be included. Data resources are collected from the ASEAN Secretariat, the United Nations, and various Government Public Relations Departments, the Department of Older Persons - Thailand and related research articles.