The situation of Thailand’s older population: an update based on the 2014 Survey of Older Persons in Thailand

The situation of Thailand’s older population: an update based on the 2014 Survey of Older Persons in Thailand

Population ageing and the well-being of older persons are major emerging challenges for families, communities and government in Thailand as in much of Asia. The Thai government has been giving very serious attention to ageing issues. This was clearly indicated by the adoption of the Second National Plan for Older Persons covering 2002-2021, the prominence of ageing issues in the 2012-16 National Economic and Social Development Plan, and a 2015 establishment of the Department of Older Persons with expanded authority to carry out programs to support elderly Thais. Furthermore, the Old Age Allowance program was expanded in 2009 into a universal social pension for persons 60 and older who lacked other pension coverage. In addition, the National Savings Fund was set up in August 2015 to encourage savings for old age including self-employed persons and others in the informal segment.

Thailand is fortunate in having a series of national surveys of the older population that detail their situation and provide comprehensive information for evidence-based policies and programs to address these challenges. This report draws heavily on the most recent national survey conducted by the National Statistical Office in 2014 but also incorporates results from earlier surveys to document trends.

Although the 2014 survey covered persons 50 and older, this report mostly focuses on those 60 and older, as this is the age range most commonly used when referring to older persons in Thailand.