Ageing in Numbers

We look at the population data to identify Penang’s population trends, compared to that of the nation and to other states. The data also identifies “hotspots” for the elderly in Penang, with George Town and Butterworth being the two townships that host the most number of elderly citizens. We then look at the availability of public and private health care services in each district as well as the number of nursing homes and aged care facilities.

Figure 1: Population Distribution by Age Group, Penang and Malaysia, 2010

Source: Population Distribution and Basic Demographic Characteristics (2010), Department of Statistics Malaysia.
Note: The Population and Housing Census is carried out every ten years, the last being in the year 2010

Figure 2: Population Distribution by States and Federal Territories, 2010

Source: Author's own calculations based on Population Distribution by Local Authority Areas and Mukims (2010), Department of Statistics Malaysia.

Table 1: Percentage of Population Distribution by Age Group and States in Malaysia, 2010

Source: Author's own calculations based on Population Distribution by Local Authority Areas and Mukims (2010), Department of Statistics Malaysia.
Note: Population data is stratified into three categories: 0-14, 15-64 and 65+ for consistency with reports on population by the Department of Statistics

Looking first at the national level, Figure 1 illustrates the dispersion of population by age group for Penang and Malaysia. The data shows that Penang’s population distribution reflects that of the national level. Table 1 provides the percentage of population distribution by age group according to states, which is further illustrated in Figure 2. It can be seen that Penang has a relatively high composition of those aged 65 and above, ranking fourth out of all 16 states and federal territories, with 6.4% of its population in this category.

More specifically in Penang, Table 2 shows the distribution of population in Penang by district according to age group. A quick glance at the data reveals that Penang in general has a stable population spread; persons considered to be of working age (15 to 65 years old) make up a larger portion of the population than the other age groups (Figure 3).

Table 2: Penang Population Distribution by District, 2010

Source: Population Distribution by Local Authority Areas and Mukims (2010), Department of Statistics Malaysia

Figure 3: Penang Population Distribution by Age Group and District, 2010

Source: Author's own calculations based on Population Distribution by Local Authority Areas and Mukims (2010), Department of Statistics Malaysia.

Figure 4: Distribution of the Elderly in Penang, 2010

Source: Author's own calculations based on Population Distribution by Local Authority Areas and Mukims (2010), Department of Statistics Malaysia.

Table 3: Top Two Townships by Number of Elderly and Percentage of Composition in Each District in Penang, 2010

Source: Author's own calculations based on Population Distribution by Local Authority Areas and Mukim (2010), Department of Statistics Malaysia.
1 Also spelled as Genting.

A deeper look into the data, however, reveals that there is a disproportionate geographical spread among the elderly. For one, there is a significantly higher number of elderly persons congregated in the north-east district, corresponding to the higher total population numbers in the same district. This is shown in Figure 4.

Secondly, the spread of elderly persons within each district is also largely disproportionate. Table 3 highlights the top two townships in each district that singlehandedly host the highest numbers of elderly persons, creating pockets of “hotspots” for the elderly in Penang.

Table 4: Number of Public Healthcare Facilities by District in Penang, 2017

Source: Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Pulau Pinang and Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia.

Healthcare

Table 4 identifies the number of public healthcare facilities in districts by type of facility. The data shows that there is an even distribution of public healthcare facilities in each district, corresponding to the government’s mandate to provide greater access to healthcare.

Table 5 identifies the number of private healthcare facilities by district. The data shows a disproportionate clustering of private healthcare facilities, particularly in the north-east district, with the presence of nine private hospitals and 164 clinics.

On the number of medical specialists in geriatric medicine, Penang has only one registered geriatric specialist based in George Town (National Specialist Register).

Table 6 shows the number of nursing homes and aged care facilities by district. Albeit not an exhaustive list, it is again apparent that the north-east district has a remarkably higher number of nursing homes and aged care facilities, corresponding to being a "hotspot" for the elderly in Penang.

Table 5: Number of Private Healthcare Facilities by District in Penang, 2017

Source: List of private hospitals (2015), investPenang and Senarai Klinik Swasta Yang Berdaftar Sehingga 30 Jun 2016, Cawangan Kawalan Amalan Perubatan Swasta
Note: Number of private clinics excludes those specialising in childcare

Table 6: Number of Nursing Homes and Aged Care Facilities by District in Penang, 2017

Source: Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat Negeri Pulau Pinang, Majlis Pusat Kebajikan Semalaysia, www.dondangsayang.com, and author’s own calculations.
Note: The list is not comprehensive and any omission is unintentional



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