Macau’s population is expected to reach 710,000 by 2020 and 750,000 by 2025, while the population density will increase from 20,500 inhabitants per km2 in 2014 to 21,500 people per km2 in 2020, and then to 22,700 people per km2 by 2025, the government’s Policy Research Office (GEP) forecasts in its latest report, which was revealed during a press conference at its office in Taipa on Thursday.
Macau’s population stood at 640,700 at the end of the first quarter.
GEP Director Lau Pun Lap said the city’s number of senior citizens will also increase, predicting that they will comprise 16.3 percent of the population by 2025. Lau also forecast that the population’s average life expectancy will be 84.6 years by then.
Lau said even though the city’s population will increase, he believes that Macau will be able to handle the rising number due to the reclamation of five plots of land off the Macau peninsula and Taipa.
He said the government should consider how to better use the city’s land resources and how to take advantage of idle plots repossessed by the government.
In addition, Lau said the gap between labour supply and demand in Macau was set to increase, noting that last year 528,000 people were needed to fill the city’s jobs while only 302,000 permanent residents were available, meaning that 226,000 more people were needed.
He also pointed out that last year the female labour participation rate stood at 61.3 percent, which was low when compared to the 73.4 percent rate of their male counterparts.
“You can also see the percentage of the labour participation rate of people aged 55 or above was rather low compared to those aged between 25 and 54,” said Lau, using 2014 figures.
Lau said it was hard to predict the number of non-local workers in Macau in the future.
The policy researcher also suggested that the government come up with policies to create a better environment for employees to be able to balance their work and private life, adding the government should put more effort into encouraging permanent residents who work abroad to return as a way to meet the city’s labour demand. (Macaunews/macaupost)