Monday, June 29, 2009

The world is aging

This is not a US-centric issue: the World's population is aging. The Census Bureau reported that the World's older population, 65 years or older, is expected to triple by 2050. In the US, the number of people 65 years and older is expected to exceed those 15 years and younger by 4 million by 2050. As a point of reference, the number of persons under 15 currently outnumber the older population by 60%. And by 2030, people aged 65 years and over are expected to account for 12% of the World's population, up from <8% now.

The chart illustrates the average annual growth rate of population by age through 2050, as projected by the Census Bureau (the data for World and age projections is listed here, while the data for the US population projections is listed here).

Hmm. Kind of makes you wonder what will happen to aggregate demand for goods and services as an increasing number of people retire, effectively switching from saving mode to dissaving (spending) mode. Price pressures?

Here are some other thoughts from the Census Bureau's release:
Europe likely will continue to be the oldest region in the world: by 2050, 29 percent of its total population is projected to be 65 and older. On the other hand, sub-Saharan Africa is expected to remain the youngest region as a result of relatively higher fertility and, in some nations, the impact of HIV/AIDS. Only 5 percent of Africa’s population is projected to be 65 and older in 2050.
There are four countries with 20 percent or more of their population 65 and older: Germany, Italy, Japan and Monaco. By 2030, 55 countries are expected to have at least one-in-five of their total population in this age category; by 2050, the number of countries could rise to more than 100.
Rebecca Wilder


  1. Another little intriguing thing: since "seniors" of the future will not have enough in savings/403b/Social Security??? to live on, they will be out in the job market until they drop, probably.

  2. Hi Aunt Jane,

    You are right - it may take a while (I've heard almost ten years, but I don't believe it) for much of the wealth to be regained. But longer term, let's say starting by the end of this decade (probably before), the market gyrations from the business cycle should be gone.

    Good to hear from you! Rebecca

  3. Given the price correction of the stock market and the housing markets, how will the baby boom generation fund its retirement? And, given the dilemma that generation faces, can deflation be all that bad an event? How else will they be able to afford to retire?