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Preparing for the Challenges of Population Aging in Asia: Strengthening the Scientific Basis of Policy Development VI looKing to the future t he asia of 2050 will be much different from the asia of today. People are living increas- ingly longer and healthier lives, and birthrates are declining. as a result, during the next few decades most countries’ populations will contain a significantly larger percent- age of older people than is the case today. these demographic shifts are taking place alongside many other rapid social and economic changes that are transforming the lives of older people across the region. in attempting to develop appropriate policy responses, policy makers can benefit both from a clearer understanding of the current situation of older people and an improved understanding of how the changes described above are likely to affect the lives of older people in the future. fortunately, because these changes are occurring over several decades, there is still time to strengthen the evidentiary basis for policy development. a window of opportunity exists, but it will not stay open indefinitely.  PreParing for the Challenges of PoPulation aging in asia Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.