The number of Indonesians aged over 65 years old is estimated to increase by between 7 to 14 percent from the current figure in 2050, leading to increasing budgetary allocations for social security, a World Bank report revealed on Monday.
WB lead economist Philip O’Keefe said Indonesia was among countries in East Asia and the Pacific that was aging very quickly.
“It is a risk where people will have more poverty in old age. […] in Indonesia, those aged over 70 years old are much more likely to be poor,” he said a discussion in Jakarta on Monday.
O’Keefe went on to say the government should make policies that could help people improve their health. He further said the living behavior of Indonesian people was risky. He referred to the country’s high smoking behavior, with cigarette prices, which were very cheap, as one of several triggering factors.
The Social Affairs Ministry’s director general for security and social protection, Harry Hikmat, said Indonesia needed an Rp 6.72 trillion (US$494 million) budget per year to overcome poverty among senior citizens.
He said the figure might be higher as the number of old people in Indonesia was estimated to increase in the years to come.
Citing official data, Harry said the number of the elderly in 2014 reached 18.8 million but it would grow to 48.2 million in 2025 and 80 million in 2050.
“If the budget problem can’t be solved, I am worried poverty rate in Indonesia is getting worse,” he said. (sha/ebf)
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