Opinion: Aging Population, Declining Fertility Requires Long-Term Investments

Faced with the dire consequences of a one-two punch of aging populations and declining birthrates, one writer has suggestions for how policy can help ensure a better future.

Read Time: 2 minutes

August 9, 2022, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Golden Pixels LLC / Shutterstock

Ian Goldin, professor of globalization and development at Oxford university and the author of Rescue: From Global Crisis to a Better World, writes for the Financial Times [paywall] about the need to set policy that anticipates gaining population.

The data shared in the article is revealing. For example, there are more people over 65 than under 5 for the first time in recorded history. While some of the aging population can be attributed to improving public health and medicine, much more drastic in its effect are the declining fertility rates found all over the world, according to Goldin. More than half the countries in the world are currently reproducing below the replacement rate needed to maintain a stable or growing population. More countries will join that number in the coming years and decades.

But far from a prediction of doom and gloom, Goldin is presenting these demographic realities as a preface to suggesting policy strategies that can respond to aging populations and declining fertility rates. Among his suggestions for “stable and sustainable societies” in the future, Goldin recommends converting some of the increasing savings of older cohorts into long-term investments. The world’s shifting demographics “means greater attention must be paid to improving health, extending working lives, accepting more migrants, increasing productivity and growing savings,” writes Goldin.

A lot more details on the demographic trends likely to shift the economics and politics of the world are included in the source article below. Previous Planetizen coverage of the emerging trend of declining population can also be found below.

Monday, August 8, 2022 in Financial Times

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