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Demographics in Asia Pacific - statistics & facts

Encompassing over half of the global population, the Asia Pacific region is comprised of diverse cultures and populations. The region is also home to a significant number of the world’s megacities, including Guangzhou, Tokyo, and Shanghai, which happen to be the most populous cities globally. Despite containing two of the world’s most populated countries among its total population: China and India, the Asia Pacific region is also made of up smaller populations, such as Brunei, the Maldives, and Bhutan. Being comprised of so many different countries and regions, it is no surprise that demographics across the Asia Pacific region vary greatly from country to country. Life expectancies, fertility rates, and mortality rates all fluctuate significantly throughout the region. Between 2015 to 2020, Hong Kong had the highest life expectancy at birth, followed by Japan, while the life expectancy at birth for citizens of Myanmar was approximately 17 years lower than Hong Kong. However, when attempting to evaluate the region as a whole, certain deductions can be made. The region is, in fact, experiencing both lower fertility and mortality rates. As citizens have increasingly strayed from traditional norms, the birth rates have declined. Alongside lower fertility rates, improved healthcare has ensured that people are living longer. This in turn has created aging populations in many countries across the Asia Pacific region.

The age structure of the many populations throughout the region varies greatly. The population of Japan had the highest median age, which was over double the median age of Timor-Leste’s population in 2020. Due to falling fertility rates, the shares of children in the total populations of Macao, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore all fell below 15 percent in 2020. Correspondingly, many Asia Pacific countries were forecasted to have significant shares of populations older than 65 by 2035.

The increasing rate of urbanization is among one of the many demographic trends taking place throughout the region. The urban population in the Asia Pacific region has increased, whereas the rural population has declined. Urban population increases can be attributed to high levels of migration across the region. With enhanced opportunities for employment and better living standards, citizens of the region are flocking to the cities and metropolitan areas. However, the growing urban populations across the Asia Pacific region have, to a certain degree, pressurized Asia Pacific cities to be able to provide a good quality standard of living and adequate housing. Nevertheless, the urban population is expected to increase further within the coming years as is the total population of the Asia Pacific region.

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Demographics in Asia Pacific

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