Aging Populations – Good, Bad or Indifferent?

Aging Populations – Good, Bad or Indifferent?

Which is better in economic terms: a country with with an aging and declining population or one with a youthful and growing one? Or what about if we are talking about the world as a whole – if a genie asked you to pick one, which would you pick?

The conventional wisdom is that aging populations are a negative thing, but it is a trick question. Kind of.

In Economorphics, I write a lot about demographics, and specifically about the concept of the ‘demographic window’.  That is, there is a ‘sweet spot’ for economic growth when the mass of those who are in their working years is growing and there is a nice balance between the youth and elderly populations Taxes are being paid, social programs can be financed, and people are consuming merrily.  In North America, for example, this happy state of affairs has been in place since about the early 1970s, and will end in a year or two.  After that, growth will be that much more difficult, all things being equal.

Then again, very few things are that cut and dried.  Countries can do fine even when they have aging populations and the demographic window is closed. For one thing, productivity gains are a very acceptable substitute for a stagnant working age population, as are a variety of other things such as making your economy more open to trade. Japan is the prime example of an old population (average age of the population is about 45, compared to about 41 in Canada and 37 in the United States) doing surprisingly well in terms of indicators such as wealth and consumer spending.

 

In fact, according to this blog by Adair Turner from the World Economic Forum, aging populations are in fact an economic positive.  As the author correctly point out, a rising working age population often does not happen without the number of young workers rising more quickly than the number of jobs.  From Spain through to Nigeria through to the Middle East, it is clear that this phenomenon, which translates through to a rising youth unemployment rate, is not a happy thing.

Indeed, other benefits from aging and declining populations exist as well. Mr. Turner makes the case that an older population is a wealthier one, and that in turn that reduces income inequalities. He even argues that an older population is good for real estate prices, which seems like a more difficult argument to make, considering that a higher proportion of empty-nesters to young families would be likely to send prices lower rather than higher.

The debate about aging populations is a healthy one, given that like it or not they are upon us.  If people are living longer, surely that is a good thing.  It does however, challenge us to create the best policies that we can to ensure the best economic outcomes all around.

 

26 Comments
  • Xforce 2019 Crack
    Posted at 07:43h, 11 November Reply

    Im obliged for the post.Much thanks again. Awesome.

  • bouncy castle hire in bexley
    Posted at 16:42h, 14 November Reply

    A round of applause for your article. Great.

  • Relationship Advice
    Posted at 19:28h, 14 November Reply

    Major thanks for the post.Really thank you! Really Great.

  • Relationship Courses
    Posted at 23:38h, 14 November Reply

    I really like and appreciate your article post.Much thanks again. Fantastic.

  • Dating Coach London
    Posted at 23:41h, 14 November Reply

    Say, you got a nice article. Really Great.

  • 토토메이저
    Posted at 10:57h, 15 November Reply

    Very good article post. Great.

  • Mere Sai
    Posted at 17:39h, 15 November Reply

    Thank you for your article post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.

  • 토토메이저
    Posted at 08:52h, 16 November Reply

    Im grateful for the post. Really Cool.

  • Relationship advice article
    Posted at 08:58h, 16 November Reply

    Im obliged for the post.Much thanks again.

  • Depression Counselling
    Posted at 11:40h, 16 November Reply

    Thanks so much for the article.Much thanks again. Keep writing.

  • Gclub
    Posted at 11:47h, 16 November Reply

    I think this is a real great blog article.Much thanks again. Want more.

  • sex for first time
    Posted at 14:55h, 16 November Reply

    Thanks-a-mundo for the blog post.Thanks Again. Really Great.

  • adam and eve promo code
    Posted at 15:14h, 16 November Reply

    Thanks for the article post.Really thank you!

  • Miss Date Doctor
    Posted at 00:01h, 17 November Reply

    I really like and appreciate your article post.Thanks Again. Really Great.

  • Miss Date Doctor
    Posted at 00:07h, 17 November Reply

    Thank you for your blog article. Awesome.

  • best CBD oil for pain
    Posted at 08:23h, 17 November Reply

    Really informative article post.Much thanks again. Will read on…

  • 메이저 사이트
    Posted at 08:24h, 17 November Reply

    Say, you got a nice blog post.Really looking forward to read more.

  • 토토웹
    Posted at 07:08h, 18 November Reply

    Looking forward to reading more. Great blog article.Much thanks again. Awesome.

  • 메이저사이트
    Posted at 07:10h, 18 November Reply

    Looking forward to reading more. Great article post.Thanks Again. Great.

  • 먹튀사이트 조회
    Posted at 12:55h, 18 November Reply

    Thanks again for the blog article. Fantastic.

  • 메이저사이트
    Posted at 13:01h, 18 November Reply

    I really liked your blog.Thanks Again.

  • Brent Reed Baiotto
    Posted at 15:49h, 18 November Reply

    Very neat blog post.Much thanks again.

  • strap on toy
    Posted at 15:57h, 18 November Reply

    Thanks again for the post.Really thank you! Great.

  • Pinoy Channel TV Shows Online Replay Episode
    Posted at 16:41h, 20 November Reply

    Great post can make continuous improvement, thanks reveal, the actual build up associated with understanding would be to maintain understanding, interest is actually the start of prosperity.

  • porumba
    Posted at 23:19h, 02 December Reply

    Thanks again for the blog.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.

  • best g spot vibrator
    Posted at 23:32h, 02 December Reply

    I really liked your article post.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

Post A Comment