Demographic realities

Almost 33% of the US workforce will be aged 50+ by the year 2012.
Ref: The Economist

In the mid 1950s 9% of adults were single in the US. The figure is now 44%
Ref: Innovation Watch

In Australia 25% of women will never have children.
Ref: The Australian

By the year 2025 people aged over 60 will outnumber those aged under 25 in the UK.
Ref: Daily Telegraph

There is expected to be a 36% increase in the number of people aged 75+ in Japan between 2005 and 2015. During the same period the number of people aged under 5 years-of-age is predicted to decline by 13%.
Ref: McKinsey Quarterly

Just one person will occupy 34% of households in Japan by the year 2025.
Ref: National Institute of Population and Social Security Research

80% of UK wealth is held by people aged 55+.
Ref: Daily Telegraph

By the year 2020, one fifth of American GDP will be spent on healthcare.
Ref: The Economic Intelligence Unit

In 1970, the average woman had 4.5 children. By 2000, this
figure had fallen to 2.7.
Ref: The Next 100 Years by George Friedman

In 1800, average life expectancy in Europe and the US was about 40. By 2000 it was roughly 80.
Ref: The Next 100 Years by George Friedman

In the 1950s the fertility rate in South Korea was 4.5%.
It is now 1.5%.
Ref: Jacques Attali, A Brief History of the Future

China and India are expected to account for 40% of the global labour market by the year 2030. Meanwhile, the working age population is expected to decline by 23% by
2050 within developed countries.
Ref: World Migration Report 2008

Stat of the week.

Since 1990, the percentage of young people aged 15-29 has risen by 50% in Libya and Tunisia, 65% in Egypt and 125% in Yemen. Meanwhile Japan is moving in the other direction. By 2055, 41% of the Japanese population will be aged over 65 if current trends continue.

Sources: Middle East – Foreign Affairs, Japan – Reimagining Japan by Chandler, Chhor & Salsberg (Ed McKinsey & Company).

Greetings from Korea

Today I’ll mostly be boring you with population statistics. The 2010 South Korean census has revealed that the core working population (ages 25 to 49) fell to 19.5 million in 2010, down 360,000 from 2005. This fall is the first decline in the 49 years in which the census has been running. The reason? A falling birthrate. In 1970 Korean women had, on average 4.53 children. Today the number is 1.22 children.

Implications? Lower consumer spending and a decline in economic productivity. Moreover, within the next 50 years the national pension will evaporate and health insurance will be in trouble sooner or later unless someone can come up with a bright idea.

Solutions? You tell me. Perhaps couples could be paid to have kids or taxed more highly if they don’t. Or perhaps people could be financially persuaded to move to Korea from other countries, especially Africa (a Korean version of Ten Pound Poms if you like).

The only other thing I can think of is robots or people smuggling from the North.

Save the date

The world’s population hits 7 billion on 26 August 2011. That seems very precise to me. Is there some kind of digital scanner hooked up to pediatric departments globally? Maybe we should have countdown clocks displayed on the bodies of pregnant women. Reminds me slightly of the reverse – the death clock www.findyourfate.com

Population Trends

The ¬†absolute increase in the world’s working age population (i.e. men and women aged 15-64) will be approximately 900 million people over the next 2 decades. Sounds a lot, but the increase over the previous 2 decades was 1.3 billion*. Implications? Assuming an economic recovery, one key consequence will be severe skills shortages with a significant power shift away from the employer to the employee.

* US Census Bureau figures.