The population of Asia and the Pacific reached 4.3 billion people in 2014, equivalent to 60% of the world’s total. While population growth in the region is often still described as a “demographic explosion”, the growth rate for Asia and the Pacific, at 0.9% in 2014, was lower than the global population growth rate (1.1%). Additionally, the population growth rate continued to slow, from 1.4% during the period 1990-2000 to 1.0% during the period 2000-2010. Yet, in absolute terms population increase remains immense, with 573.7 million people having been added to the population between 2000 and 2014.
As a result of lower fertility ̶ the region is just at the population replacement level of 2.1 children per woman ̶ and owing to increasing longevity, rapid population ageing has become an issue. Over the next 20 years, the elderly population (aged 65 years and older) is expected to double from its current level of 330 million people. Some countries in the region are still in the phase of having a large working-age population; this situation is considered to be a window of opportunity. Statistical Year Book 2014-ESCAP