Social Policy in an Ageing Society

Social Policy in an Ageing Society

Age and Health in Singapore

David Reisman

Around half the world’s population live in countries where the fertility rate is far below the replacement rate and where life expectancy is increasing dramatically. Using Singapore as a case study, Social Policy in an Ageing Society explores what might happen in a dynamic and prosperous society when falling births, longer life expectancy and rising expectations put disproportionate pressure on scarce resources that have alternative uses.

Chapter 1: Introduction

David Reisman

Subjects: asian studies, asian economics, asian politics and policy, asian social policy, economics and finance, asian economics, health policy and economics, public sector economics, politics and public policy, asian politics, social policy and sociology, ageing, comparative social policy, economics of social policy, health policy and economics

Extract

The Republic of Singapore is a city-State. It is situated in tropical SouthEast Asia, at the tip of the Malay peninsula. It is 1° 17' (136.8 kilometres) north of the equator. Singapore’s total landmass is 692.1 square kilometres. It is 12.61 per cent larger than at independence due to the steady reclamation of coastal land. Singapore is approximately 3.5 times the area of Washington, DC. Singapore’s population in 2008 was 4.84 million. There are three main ethnic groups: 74.8 per cent are Chinese, 13.5 per cent Malay and (the fastest-growing) 9 per cent Indian. The population density per square kilometre at 6652 is the third highest (after Monaco and the Special Administrative Region of Macau) of any country in the world. Cities score worse than states: in Delhi it is 9294 although for India as a whole it is no more than 336. In Nigeria the population density is 145. In China it is 137. For the continent of Asia it is 152. For the world as a whole it is only 45. Agriculture has given way to high rise. About 53 per cent of the world’s population lives in rural communities. In Singapore, 100 per cent of the population is urban. In rural Asia only 31 per cent of the population has access to safe water and hygienic sanitation. In Singapore everyone does. Singapore is made up of one large island and 53 smaller ones. Built-up areas account for 50 per cent of the territory. The rest is given...