We all know that our society is aging, due to the combo of longevity and falling birth rates. But can it reach a stage where the society can be said to be…literally…committing suicide? Yes, says Emmanuel Todd, one of Europe’s leading demographers. The growing imbalance between young and old — fewer younger workers supporting ever more retirees — throttles economic growth and virtually insures a disastrous future.
According to The Economist, even with the arrival of a million immigrants every year, the ratio of pensioners to workers will increase from 28% now to 58% by 2060. In demographic terms, it’s a “perfect storm” that guarantees no economic growth. Can anything be done? According to demographer Emmanuel Todd, there is some hope, but only on a regional basis. The UK and Scandinavia are relatively better off, and if the UK became a more format part of an “Anglosphere” — including the USA, Canada, and Australia — it would be hitching its wagon to a community that will become larger, and much more prosperous, than the EU.
Read this article by Daniel Hannon, and watch the accompanying video in which Todd lays out his theory. You can expect to see many more commentaries like this one; it’s a reminder that the “reinvention of aging” is not uniformly dynamic and exciting, but also carries with it considerable upheaval and many challenges.