Australia, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand and Singapore remain as the top six countries with the highest life expectancy within the Asia Pacific region, with life expectancy of 84 years and above.
Developed countries in the Asia Pacific, specifically Australia, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan (R.O.C.) have the longest life expectancy at an average of 84 years, except for Taiwan (R.O.C.) at 81 years.
However, the poor health expectancy in most of these developed countries has increased, except for Republic of Korea and Singapore, when comparing the results between the 2020 edition of the Asia Pacific Silver Economy Business Opportunities Report (Silver Report) and the report published in 2015.
Life Expectancy across the Asia Pacific countries has generally improved in the last five years where most of the countries’ life expectancy have increased between 0.5 – 1 year, except for Vietnam that sees a reduction by 0.94 years. Australia, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand and Singapore remain as the top six countries with the highest life expectancy within the Asia Pacific region, with life expectancy of 84 years and above.
Although the life expectancy rate is higher for most of the countries, but when compared to the Healthy Life Expectancy years, i.e. the average number of years of good health, we noted that majority of the developed / affluent countries have recorded decreased in quality of life, i.e. increased years of poor or sub-health compared to the results reported in our 2015 Silver Report. And this includes countries such as Australia, Hong Kong S.A.R and Japan.
China, Republic of Korea and Singapore are the few developed countries that have recorded significant improvements in poor health expectancy, between 2.5 – 3.5 years. Myanmar and Vietnam recorded the highest improvement, at 7.9 years and 5.4 years respectively.
The average poor health years across the Asia Pacific countries is 10 years, with the longest poor health years at 14 years for Hong Kong S.A.R. Singapore recorded the shortest poor health years at 7.49 year and the highest healthy life expectancy at 76.2 years.
Based on the healthy life expectancy and number of poor health years for the average population of each country, there will be a need for a different range of products and services to cater for active agers to the pre-frail and frail seniors.
The continuum of care required during poor health years can range from general medical care for early onset of chronic disease management to multiple chronic disease management, age-related health issues e.g. limited mobility, falls or physical injuries, frailty and dementia, which generally leads to requiring 24 hours residential care with further deterioration of health.
The products and services catering for later half of the poor health years would focus towards healthcare services, home care and residential care facilities and services.
A wider range of products and services can be provided to healthy individuals and those living with illness, e.g., early onset of chronic disease, to support active ageing and preventive health management, through wellness programmes, nutritional pharmaceuticals, aesthetics medicine, lifestyle goods & services, retirement villages or independent living housing options.
As evidenced from the market survey results collected for the 2020 Silver Report, industry respondents have opined that sports & wellness and travel & tourism are the upcoming two sectors, and may have the highest growth potential within the ageing market, after healthcare and rehabilitation. Seniors residential housing and care facilities remain as the most immediate ageing market opportunity, which is undeniable, in view of the shortages of nursing home beds in each country.