Asian demographic time bombs: Population trends and the future of Asian societies

Amidst the current flurry of interest in Asia, most commentators pay insufficient attention to the role that population change will play in the future of Asian societies. Yet we know population dynamics affect a wide range of developmental issues, including economic growth, social justice and environmental sustainability. The changing structure and composition of populations, as well as variation in size and rate of growth, impact on institutional arrangements and constrain policy choices.
Asia currently faces many varied demographic challenges. Some countries are on the cusp of realising the so-called demographic dividend, while others face new challenges associated with low fertility and population ageing. Meanwhile some countries in Asia are still tackling rapid population growth. Migration and rapid urbanisation are also major issues, which will continue to demand attention in the foreseeable future.
A range of questions needs to be studied and addressed: What do current demographic trends in Asia portend for the future? How should policy makers respond? What are the implications for Australia? A panel of distinguished academics will discuss these questions and others in the first East Asia Forum Quarterly Public Forum.

Adrian Hayes is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute (ADSRI), Australian Demographic & Social Research Institute, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU. He is a sociologist and demographer who has combined an active academic career with work as a development practitioner and consultant. He is Chair of the first IUSSP Scientific Panel on Climate Change (2012-14) and an Overseas Member of the American Sociological Association’s Task Force on Climate Change.

Peter McDonald is a Professor of Demography and Director, ADSRI, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU. He is the President of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) for the years, 2010-2013. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. In 2008, he was appointed as a Member in the Order of Australia. He is also Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research.
Zhongwei Zhao is a Professor of Demography, ADSRI, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU. He was previously a senior research associate at the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, a Bye-Fellow at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of New South Wales and the East-West Centre of Hawaii.

Heather Booth is an Associate Professor of Demography, ADSRI, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU. She has over 30 years’ experience in demographic research in developed and developing countries. Heather leads the ADSRI Group on Longevity, Ageing and Mortality (GLAM), and is Founding Editor of the Journal of Population Research (JPR).

This seminar is presented by the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research at Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University.


Dates: Monday, May 27, 2013
Location: Molonglo Theatre, Level 2, JG Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU