A report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts the Philippines will soon have the youngest population in Asia. They recommend that the country diversify its key services and manufacturing sectors, enhance workforce productivity, and maintain its status as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.
A favorable demographic trend is great for anyone investing in the Philippines, whether they’re individuals or businesses.
“In the next 30 to 40 years, the Philippines is going to be the youngest nation in Asia. That’s a huge opportunity … not only because we are young, but it’s also because others are going to be old, especially our neighbors in Asia,” said Shanaka Peiris, a representative of the IMF.
“That’s a big opportunity. But that alone will not be enough because a demographic dividend would need jobs. We have to create the jobs.”
The Fastest Growing and Youngest Population in Asia
The Philippines is the second most populous country in ASEAN. It will grow from 100 million to an estimated 154 million by 2050. The Philippine economy maintained a strong growth rate of over 5% on average over the past decade. Furthermore, the nation’s GDP expansion of 6.9% is one of Asia’s strongest.
But while unemployment improved recently, it’s still high at 6.7% compared to 7.3% in 2013.
Development in the private sector is the answer to the problem. According to Peiris. “We need the private investment to fall in line. We need the demographic dividend by creating jobs. That’s where we need to diversify the economic sector. And also addressing some of the bottlenecks.”
Nearby countries in Asia show a trend of aging which will continue. Malaysia, for example, will have more than three times the population of those 65 and older than they currently have by 2040.
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s average birthrate rapidly declined from 6.4 children per mother during the 1960s to just 2.06 in 2014. They face an aging crisis because of this.
Want to invest in the Philippines? You might want to see our guide to buying property in the country.