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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Low birth rates in the advanced world

Germany is facing dearth of births. It has dropped below Japan to have the lowest birth rate globally.

It is expected that low birth rate would cause shrinkage in workforce by 6 million over the next 15 years.

With fall in birthrate the population between 20-65 years will fall to 54% by 2030.On the other hand, the life expectancy for women is expected to continue rising to 88 and for men to 84 by 2050. This will push the dependency ratio to 1.1, threatening the solvency of public pension system.

Germany is not alone. The entire developed world is facing the same problem. Japan, third largest economy in the world after United States and China, is also facing sharp decline in work age population.

According to U.S. Census Bureau, Japan will face 18% decrease in workforce and 8% decrease in consumer population by 2030. Fall in workforce and consumer population may hurt companies as they have to face escalating cost of labor along with loss of economies of scale.

United States is also facing workforce shrinkage, due to age, albeit at low rate than faced by the rest of the developed world. China, in order to avert population decline, has ended one child policy.

United States, China, Japan, Germany along with Italy, and Russia contribute nearly 50% of global GDP. Fall in their population can cause balance of power to shift away from these regions.

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