Population estimates show that Malaysia has reached aged nation status in 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: There were a total of 1,043 centenarians aged 100 years and older in the country based on the census conducted in 2020.

Statistics Department chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said of the figure, there were 18 people aged 120 years old.

"Sabah recorded the highest number of 120-year-old centenarians with 10 individuals, followed by Selangor (two individuals).

"Kedah, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Perlis, and Kuala Lumpur each recorded one 120-year-old centenarian," he said recently.

He said findings from the Population and Housing Census 2020 (Census 2020) indicated that the elderly population (aged 65 years and older) had increased from 3.1 per cent in 1970 to 6.8 per cent in 2020.

"Based on current population estimates, Malaysia achieved an aged nation status in 2021 when the elderly population composition reached seven per cent and continued to increase to 7.4 per cent in 2023."

The current population estimates for last year showed that Perak recorded the highest composition of the elderly population (aged 65 years and above) at 9.7 per cent.

"This was followed by Kedah and Sarawak, each recording 8.8 percent and 8.3 percent, respectively.

"Eight out of 16 states and territories reached the aged society status when the elderly population composition exceeded seven percent in 2023."

He said ageing statistics were important for planning social services and infrastructure, including the design of accessible public spaces, transportation systems and healthcare facilities catering to the mobility and healthcare needs of older individuals.

"Individuals also need to ensure sufficient retirement savings or start planning now to prepare for old age.

"The life expectancy at age 60 in 2020 for males and females were 18.2 and 20.9 years, respectively, and living throughout this life expectancy without monthly income is a major challenge for the elderly population."

He added that an increasingly ageing population could have significant economic implications, such as changes in labour force participation structure, productivity and consumption patterns.

"The government and businesses use ageing statistics to forecast and respond to these economic shifts, adjusting policies and business strategies accordingly."

He said ageing statistics were also crucial for healthcare planning, enabling policymakers to forecast and address specific healthcare needs related to the elderly population.

"This includes developing geriatric care programmes, preventive health measures and age-appropriate medical research.

"The elderly are often associated with chronic diseases, therefore requiring prolonged treatment and care."

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories