Demographic transition and ageing in the ECO countries

Amir Houshang Mehryar, Regional Center for Population Reseach & Studies in Asia and the Pacific
Nader Motie Haghshenas, Population Studies and Research Center in Asia and the Pacific

The aim of this study is to explore the process of demographic transition, age structural change and ageing among the ten members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) region.Data used in this analysis are mostly taken from the United Nations (2006) recent report on World Ageing and the United Nations 2004 World Population Prospects (UN,2005).The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)is one of the relatively new regional cooperation organizations that has brought together six Asian members of the ex-Soviet Union (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan,Kyrgyzstan,Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan)with four major countries of the region (Afghanistan,Iran, Pakistan and Turkey). With a total population of 364 million, the ECO accounted for over 5.6% of the world population in 2000. All countries of the region experienced a rise in fertility and relative share of children of population and a reduction in various indices of ageing between1950-1975.All but two (Afghanistan and Pakistan) manifested clear signs of fertility decline and ageing between 1980-2000.The process of ageing is expected to become more precipitous and pronounced during the first quarter of the 21st century so that by 2025 more than one in ten of the population will be aged 60+ years in eight of the member states of the region. Pakistan and Afghanistan will however continue to grow at a relatively high rate and will thus account for over 60% of the population of the region in 2050. By that time, between 14 and 24 percent of the population of eight of the 10 countries will be aged 65+ years. Although the share of this age group will still be less than 5% in Afghanistan and 8.3% in Pakistan, the latter two countries will account for more than one third of the elderly population of the region.

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Presented in Poster Session 1