Demographic information is an important tool when examining the future of any country, be it a developed county or a less developed area the economic impact of an aging population, the changing politics of a large youthful generation, or the growth or decrease in a country's population are all predicators of future situations. This paper will examine two countries, that of Japan, a more developed area, and Thailand, a less developed country. By understanding the differences between these areas, and by examining how each country plans to deal with aging populations and quality of life issues, one is better able to understand the impact demographic information has on the future.
A comparison between the populations is easiest when examining the population pyramids of the two countries in 2005. First, when examining the current population of Japan, it is clear that the largest populations exist between the ages of thirty to thirty-four, and fifty-five to fifty-nine. The smallest set of individuals is between seventy-five and one hundred years of age. The clusters between zero and four, five to nine, and ten to fourteen are made up of nearly the same number of individuals. As the age groups expand towards the large thirty to thirty-four-year-olds, the populations expand slightly per age group. Following the thirty to thirty-four age group, the populations lower slightly until the forty to forty five age group, then begin to expand again to the next large group, the fifty to fifty-nine age population. Following this group, all ages are slightly lower than the previous, resulting in a slow decline in population as the age groups expand. The result, then, is a gradual expansion of population size per group until the lower thirties, then a gradual decline in population until the mid-forties group. There is then a gradual increase in population size per group until then mid-fifties, which is followed by a decline in population for the following age groups (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005a).
In terms of female to male ratios, it is clear that the Japanese male outnumbers the Japanese female in all age groupings below age fifty. Following age fifty, women outnumber men, indicating that women have a longer lifespan in Japan that that of the males in the population. However, the population distribution is the same among age groups between men and women, in terms of the number of individuals in each cluster (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005a).
When examining Thailand in 2005, however, a quite different picture appears. Firstly, the largest population of Thailand is younger than that of Japan; the largest group in Thailand is the twenty-five to twenty-nine age group. In addition, unlike Japan, Thailand's population falls consistently following this age group, with no further spikes in population. As with Japan, however, the smallest groups of individuals are those over age seventy-five. The end result, then, unlike Japan, is a gradual fluctuation of population prior to age twenty-five, and a gradual decrease in population for each age group following age twenty-nine (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005b).
However, like Japan, Thailand males outnumber females until age thirty. Following age thirty, however, females outnumber males in every age group, indicating that, like in Japan, females have a longer lifespan that that of the males. Again, like Japan, the population distribution is equal between men and women among all age groups (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005b).
There are other differences in current trends as well. While Thailand's population is increasing, due to a larger number of births and lower number of deaths per 1000 individuals, Japan's population is decreasing. Additionally, while the rate of growth for Japan is decreasing, that of Thailand is increasing. The life expectancy in Japan is significantly higher than that of Thailand, and the death rate per live birth is much higher in Thailand (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005a; U.S. Census Bureau, 2005b).
It is important to note that these demographics indicate a problem for both countries by the year 2025. By comparing population estimates between the two countries, it is clear that both areas will have a fairly large population of older populations in the future. Whereas Japan's largest populations are thirty and thirty-four, and fifty to fifty-nine in 2005, these larger populations will simply age over time, with no population explosion in the other groupings. This means that, by 2025, the large age group will consist of those between fifty and fifty-four. Rather than seeing a gradual increase in population between ages zero and thirty, the…