WASHINGTON, DC, July 29, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The 2010 World Population Data Sheet, published by the Population Reference Bureau (PBR) on July 28, says that a shrinking pool of working-age populations is jeopardizing social support and long-term health care programs for the elderly, and points to a decrease in the populations of developed countries.No safety net can sustain that kind of pressure. Retirement age will have to be raised to 70, if not 75 - and even that is unlikely to prevent severe cuts to retirement benefits.
The report states that worldwide in 1950, there were 12 persons of working age for every person age 65 or older. By 2010, that number had shrunk to 9. By 2050, this elderly support ratio, which indicates levels of potential social support available for the elderly, is projected to drop to 4.
The report also shows the contrasts between developing and developed countries and highlights that while developing countries will see populations increase, developed countries are beginning to see population shrinkage.
For example, Japan has a total fertility rate of 1.4 children per woman, and an elderly support ratio of 3—the lowest in the world, along with Germany and Italy. By 2050, Japan will have only 1 working-age adult for every elderly person; Germany and Italy will each have 2.
And immigration is not a solution either. Canada's tried that already, back in late 1980s, with immigration numbers increasing about three-fold over the two following decades. Except... The people who came back then, belonged to the same generation as Canada's baby-boomers. They'll be retiring at exactly the same time as their Canadian-born peers. The immigrants of today are in their 30s now, but in 2050, they'll be the ones described in the report as "the elderly". And I doubt that the immigrants of 2020s or 2030s will be all excited about paying hundreds of dollars every month to support the growing number of Canada's seniors.
To stop and then to reverse the unprecedented "global aging", which threatens to destroy the developed nations' safety nets (along with their economies) we need another baby boom. There's simply no other way to avert the crisis.