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Snowguy716

Large-scale population decline

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6197315.stm

This is an article from the BBC about new projections in Japan which indicate that it's population will fall to 90 million by 2055 from 127 million today. People over 65 will make up 40.5% of the population at that time.

The trends are much the same in central, southern, and eastern Europe (though less in northern Europe) with Germany's population expected to fall from 83 million today to 73 million by 2050 and Russia expected to fall from 150 million today to 115 million by 2050.

How do we plan for this? Besides the obvious pension crises, how do we cope with a society that has a much smaller number of children than elderly?

Here are a few solutions I can think of:

Converting unused school buildings into nursing homes. Schools could easily be remodeled to accomodate elderly people and would provide a great environment with central cafeterias and spaces for physical (gymnasiums) and creative activities (art rooms, etc.). This would promote a healthier lifestyle mentally and physically for elderly.

Raising the retirement age in increments to 70. I realize people won't like this, but it would give us a reprieve from a declining workforce. Of course if you are not healthy enough to work at 70, you could begin receiving benefits if approved, say, by a doctor.

Now what do we do with empty buildings and businesses with population decline?

This is a tough one, because with a declining population, property values would plummet. You'd almost have to invest in demolition companies to destroy unused buildings. The real estate market will go into long term decline. Would deflation be a possible solution? So that over time, your house is still worth more despite low demand? Banks actually paying interest to you on your mortgage? I know it sounds crazy.. but our entire economic model is based on population growth and we need to 'flip' everything in order to keep our economy going.

Does anyone else have ideas?

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6197315.stm

Raising the retirement age in increments to 70. I realize people won't like this, but it would give us a reprieve from a declining workforce. Of course if you are not healthy enough to work at 70, you could begin receiving benefits if approved, say, by a doctor.

Now what do we do with empty buildings and businesses with population decline?

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We won't have a problem with population decline, though we will have a significantly older population.

Also, Europe and east-Asia are our biggest trade-partners. Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, and all of Europe are expected to be losing population by 2050. The U.S will be indirectly affected by this.

Also, with the immigration debate like it is today, who's to say that we don't see a major decline in immigration? Had our immigration policies stayed hte same since hte 1960s, we'd be nearing zero-population growth pretty quickly here in the U.S

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6197315.stm

Raising the retirement age in increments to 70. I realize people won't like this, but it would give us a reprieve from a declining workforce. Of course if you are not healthy enough to work at 70, you could begin receiving benefits if approved, say, by a doctor.

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We won't have a problem with population decline, though we will have a significantly older population.

Also, Europe and east-Asia are our biggest trade-partners. Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, and all of Europe are expected to be losing population by 2050. The U.S will be indirectly affected by this.

Also, with the immigration debate like it is today, who's to say that we don't see a major decline in immigration? Had our immigration policies stayed hte same since hte 1960s, we'd be nearing zero-population growth pretty quickly here in the U.S

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Just barely. Non-hispanic white people in this country have a fertility rate of 2.0, just a tidge below that needed to replace the population. Blacks have a fertility rate of between 1.9 and 2.0. At that level, for every 200 parents, there would be about 195 parents in the next generation. At this rate it would be a very long time before the population began to fall at any considerable rate even with 0 net migration.

The problem in the U.S is that we'll have a record number of elderly people (over 65) as a proportion of the population, but it will still only be somewhere around 25% or so in 2040-2050. Compare this to 40% in Japan and the mid 30's in Italy and Spain.

This topic comes up a lot in Minnesota as we have had a lower birth rate than the nation as a whole and will have more elderly people than the nation as a whole in relative terms. There were 83,000 births at the peak of hte baby boom in 1957 and only 75,000 at the peak of the "echo-boom" in the late 1980s. A much larger proportion of that 75,000 was raised in the suburbs, so you have an inverted age scale in many rural areas with more elderly people than young people. Who will take care of these people?

I don't foresee a large number of young people flocking to farm country to work for $10/hr assisting elderly people in their lives. Wages can be raised, but then taxes will have to go up to pay for that... young people in the suburbs will not want that.

And this is in a country where we will still have enough young people to keep things going. Compare this with Japan or Germany or Spain that have a large dearth of young people where 0-5 year olds number only half of this 30-35.

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These projections fail to mention India, which is expected to experience a continuing population growth, eventually overtaking China as the world's most populous nation.

India is also experiencing a rapid increase in the number of college educated persons. India might very well become the world's chief supplier of quality labor.

It's apparent, isn't it? In the West, labor will eventually have to be imported, just like in modern day Saudi Arabia, where labor is supplied by Asian nations.

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While India's population is expected to grow, it is expected mostly to grow in older age cohorts. The number of young adults in India is not expected to rise very much over the next 50 years.

So yes, we may be able to import labor, but it will be older people.

The only places that will experience huge population growth are in the Middle East and Africa, where education still has a very long way to go. The problem is this: When you educate people, they have less children.

In the end, will it matter much anyway? Who buys American products on a wide scale anyway besides Americans?

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Perhaps when the States reaches a critical labor shortage in the future, the border with Mexico will essentially be abolished~~the country might end up looking back with bemused nostalgia at the illegal immigration issues during the turn of the 21st Century.

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I'm not quite sure how an issue of population decline on a wide scale affecting our cities belongs in the Coffee House and not in Urban Discussion, where things like population trends have been widely discussed before.

Someone please answer that.

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Here is an excellent article explaining the differences between the U.S's and Europe's coming "pension crisis".

http://www.stratfor.com/products/premium/r...e.php?id=262221

The main driver to Europe's lackluster performance is: Demographics.

There are more 75 year olds in Germany than 1 year olds.

While the U.S experienced the "echo-boom" of the 1980s and only small declines in births during the '90s, Europe's birth rate has been dropping since the mid 1960s. The entire European baby boom generation had half as many children as the generation before them. Now the half-sized generation of baby boomers' children in Europe is following suit and having just as few children and birth rates are plumetting to new record lows.

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Interesting thread. I add these stats about Europe and my country.

EU's Top 5

Country (Pop 1995) Pop 2005

Total population aged 15 :

Germany (13 266 410) 11 787 265

France (11 725 844) 11 680 926 / Metropolitan France (11 288 138) 11 215 305

United Kingdom (11 289 004) 10 807 250

Italy (8 353 273) 8 223 032*

Spain (6 557 048) 7 052 467

Total population aged 80 and more :

Germany (3 313 579) 3 618 901

Italy (2 311 814) 2 832 015*

France (2 411 399) 2 850 518 / Metropolitan France (2 385 774) 2 808 293

United Kingdom (2 309 140) 2 655 550

Spain (1 337 388) 1 884 399

* 2004 for Italy.

Eurostat.

Proportion of population aged under 15.

Country (% 1995) % 2005

Ireland (24.5) 20.7

Cyprus (25.0) 19.2

Denmark (17.3) 18.8

Luxembourg (18.3) 18.7

Metropolitan France (19.6) 18.5

Netherlands (18.4) 18.5

United Kingdom (19.5) 18.2*

Malta (22.0) 17.6

Sweden (18.9) 17.6

Finland (19.1) 17.5

Belgium (18.0) 17.3*

Lithuania (21.9) 17.1

Slovakia (22.9) 17.1

Poland (23.1) 16.7

Austria (17.8) 16.1

Croatia (19.8 in 2000) 16.0

Estonia (20.9) 16.0*

Romania (20.8) 15.9

Hungary (18.3) 15.6

Portugal (17.9) 15.6

Czech Republic (18.9) 14.9

Latvia (20.9) 14.8

Germany (16.3) 14.5

Greece (17.6) 14.5*

Spain (16.9) 14.5

Slovenia (18.5) 14.4

Italy (14.8) 14.1*

Bulgaria (18.1) 13.8

Albania : 26.5 in 2000

Iceland (24.6) 22.3

FYR of Macedonia (24.7) 19.9

Norway (19.4) 19.7

Liechtenstein (19.1) 17.6

Switzerland (17.6) 16.3

Serbia and Montenegro (20.5 in 1999) 16.2*

* 2004

Proportion of people aged 60 and more.

Italy (22.3) 25.0*

Sweden (22.1) 23.2

Greece (21.1) 22.9*

Bulgaria (21.1) 22.8

Latvia (19.0) 22.2

Portugal (20.2) 22.2

Croatia (18.5) 22.1*

Austria (19.7) 22.0

Belgium (21.3) 21.8*

Estonia (18.9) 21.7*

Spain (20.6) 21.6

Hungary (19.5) 21.3

Finland (18.9) 21.1

Denmark (19.9) 20.9

United Kingdom (20.7) 20.9*

Metropolitan France (20.1) 20.8

Slovenia (17.5) 20.6

Lithuania (17.4) 20.2

Czech Republic (18.0) 19.7

Romania (17.3) 19.3

Netherlands (17.7) 19.1

Luxembourg (19.1) 18.9

Malta (15.4) 18.1

Poland (15.7) 17.1

Cyprus (15.0) 16.5

Slovakia (15.1) 16.0

Ireland (15.2) 15.3

Serbia and Montenegro (18.7 in 1999) 21.9*

Switzerland (19.5) 21.3

Norway (20.1) 19.6

Liechtenstein (14.9) 16.6

Iceland (15.0) 15.7

FYR of Macedonia (13.2) 15.3

Albania : 12.1 in 2000

* 2004

Eurostat.

Now, the projection of population in the French regions by 2030

I summarize from this page (in French)

http://www.insee.fr/fr/ffc/ipweb/ip1111/ip1111.html

Central scenario :

Region (percent change 2005 to 2030) population 1,000

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Erratum at the beginning of my precedent post

EU's Top 5

Country (Pop 1995) Pop 2005

Total population aged 15 :

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