Why Demographic Trends Spell Trouble For China And Russia -- And Prosperity For US

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  1. AMDR

    AMDR Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    Why Demographic Trends Spell Trouble For China And Russia -- And Prosperity For US
    OracleVoice: Why Demographic Trends Spell Trouble For China And Russia -- And Prosperity For US

    Looking at population trends 20 years into the future, which countries and regions are best positioned to prosper economically?

    Anyone who says he can predict what the world will look like in 2035 risks being viewed as either a “lunatic or a charlatan,” conceded the American Enterprise Institute’s Nicholas Eberstadt in his presentation on that very subject at Oracle OpenWorld on October 27. But Eberstadt, one of the world’s leading political economists and demographers, brought lots of data and research to his world population outlook.

    And one of Eberstadt’s assertions was immediately validated by breaking news.

    He noted during his Oracle OpenWorld presentation that the demographic fundamentals of the emerging economic superpowers, particularly China, aren’t nearly as good as they’ve been hyped to be. A day later, on October 28, China announced that it would end its decades-old “one-child” policy, a tacit acknowledgement that the country’s aging population threatens its economic rise.

    Eberstadt said he sees “tremendous demographic headwinds” in China, the world’s most populous country (1.36 billion people) and second-largest economy (GDP to top $10 trillion in 2015). The data shows that China’s working-age population will contract by about 100 million by 2035, he said. Between the late 1970s, the start of the economic revolution led by Deng Xiaoping, and 2012, China’s working-age population grew about 2% a year. Today, that population is starting to decline, as the long-term effects of China’s one-child policy kick in.

    China continues to have a population explosion—of old people. The number of its citizens age 65 or older is growing 4% a year, making China the most rapidly graying population in world history, rivaled today only by Japan, Eberstadt said. But Japan established a sturdy social security system well before it got gray; China is in the opposite position. “And the other way around is so much less fun,” he said.

    Meantime, China’s demographics are shifting male, the outcome of sex-selective abortions. At the start of the one-child policy in the late 1970s, Chinese women gave birth to about 103 boys for every 100 girls, Eberstadt said. The ratio is about 120:100 today, creating an enormous sub-culture of “unmarriagable,” socially alienated young men who tend to be poor, poorly educated, and “slightly frustrated”—demographics that correlate to “extreme right wing” behavior, he said.

    On Rabbits And Flies

    Eberstadt’s observations went well beyond China. Some of his findings and conclusions also defy conventional wisdom.

    For example, he said that over the next 20 years, the world as a whole won’t have the demographic ingredients to keep the global economy humming at a “pre-2008 tempo.” The main reason: not enough educated people with the necessary skills.

    He also argued that the demographic fundamentals of the US and Canada look “quite positive” through 2035—perhaps the best in the world. (More on why later.)

    Before laying out his country-by-country, region-by-region demographic outlook, Eberstadt provided a snapshot of the twentieth century. The world’s population quadrupled between 1900 and 2000, increasing by 4 billion people, a growth rate and scale unprecedented in human history.

    The reason? “It’s not that we were breeding like rabbits,” he said, “but we stopped dying like flies,” as healthcare advances reduced mortality rates.

    Now, however, that population explosion is slowing down (populations are declining in some countries, even amid continued healthcare advances) because of lower fertility rates. About half the world is below a “replacement-level” fertility rate, and that fraction is getting larger, Eberstadt said. This trend is particularly important as it applies to working-age populations.

    In the next 20 years, the working-age population, roughly defined as those between the ages of 15 and 64, will grow by about 800 million, half as fast as it grew in the previous 20 years, Eberstadt said. And almost half of that 800 million will come from the 50 or so countries of sub-Saharan Africa—the poorest, least-educated region of the world.

    Shrinking Japan, Resting Europe

    Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, is also its oldest. The average age is 46, among the oldest in the world, due mostly to low fertility rates (only about eight births per 1,000 people) and long life expectancies (to age 84 on average).

    Traditional “Asian family values are so yesterday in Japan,” Eberstadt said, noting that there’s only a 50/50 chance for a young Japanese woman to marry and then stay married through age 50, similar to the situation in many Western countries.

    Japan’s total population fell by a record amount last year, down 271,058 from the prior year to 126.2 million, and the pace of decline is expected to accelerate until 2060 and beyond. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assembled an advisory panel of cabinet members and population experts last Thursday with the goal of setting policies to stabilize the country’s population at 100 million people within 50 years, but even that goal is considered highly ambitious.

    Meantime, Japan’s working-age population has been declining since the late 1990s and is on track to shrink by more than a third by 2035. That decline is a function not only of its low birthrate, but also its lack of immigration, a factor that continues to augment the working-age populations of most Western countries.

    Western Europe’s population is aging rapidly as well, mostly for the same reasons as in Japan–low birthrates and long life expectancies—but immigration has propped up the workforces in many EU countries.

    Still, Eberstadt worries that “all of Europe’s health explosion has been translated to vacation and retirement and then some,” alluding to policies that encourage Europeans to leave the workforce and put further strain on government coffers. “You don’t have to be a demographer or an economist to know where this is going,” he said. For an extreme example, look at Greece, though rampant corruption and tax evasion in that country have added to its fiscal mess.

    Eberstadt, however, sees “tremendous opportunity” ahead in Western European countries if their aging, healthy, well-educated people decide to work and earn longer. Moving in that direction would require a “social consensus” in each country, he said, not government mandates.

    Turning to Russia, Eberstadt sees “good news and bad news in terms of its demography. Only there’s no good news.”

    He called Russia (population of 144 million) a “demography disaster,” especially among men, mostly for health reasons. The life expectancy for males in Russia is about 64 years, putting it among the lowest 50 countries. The two reasons cited widely: high levels of alcohol consumption and smoking. Consider that a 15-year old Russian male has a life expectancy three years shorter than his counterpart in Haiti.

    Eberstadt also pointed to a “knowledge-creation catastrophe” in Russia, whose people are awarded fewer US patents than those in the state of Alabama, he noted, despite the fact that Russia has a population that’s 30 times larger. Lest you think there’s a US domestic bias there, Russia’s share of international patent applications is just two-tenths of 1%, despite its having 2% of the world population and 5% of the world’s college graduates.

    While Russia “punches well below its weight” when it comes to technical innovation, Eberstadt singled out Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Israel for their superior innovation.

    If poor health is Russia’s main demographic problem, lack of education is the main challenge for India, the world’s second-most-populous country (1.25 billion people) and seventh-largest economy (GDP of $2.3 trillion). Almost a third of India’s working-age population never went to school and are assumed to be illiterate, he said, though on a positive note that demographic should improve to almost a fifth by 2035.

    How The US Stacks Up

    Eberstadt sees US demographic trends as mostly positive. The US, the world’s third-most-populous country (321.4 million people) and largest economy (GDP of $18.1 trillion), is projected to have modest population and working-age population growth over the next 20 years.

    And its population will age more slowly than in other OECD countries. The US still has a positive replacement-level fertility rate, augmented by continued immigration, including an influx of highly educated immigrants at a rate above the OECD average, he said.

    African-Americans and non-Latino whites pull the average US life expectancy (79 years) below the average level in Western Europe (81 years), though the country’s growing Latino-American and Asian-American populations are “fantastically healthy,” Eberstadt noted. In fact, if Latino-Americans were the country’s only ethnic group, the US would be the healthiest nation on earth. “We need to figure out how Latinos are doing this, and bottle and sell it,” he said.

    The demographics of the so-called NAFTA zone—US, Canada, and Mexico—compare favorably to those of the EU, Eberstadt said. Mexico gets bad press for its drug wars and political scandals, but a little known fact, he said, is that its 20-somethings have a higher level of education than their counterparts in Germany (perhaps in part because of Germany’s extensive apprenticeship trade programs).

    Eberstadt sees immigration in the US and Canada as a “fantastically positive experience” for those countries, but one threatened by public backlash. He noted that immigration has always been an “explosive political issue” in the US, dating back to the German and Irish immigration waves of the middle half of the 1800s.

    Source: http://defence.pk/threads/why-demog...a-and-prosperity-for-us.407026/#ixzz3qaDk65F5
     
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  2. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    If we want to we can grow our population we can in a multitude of ways where as some other countries have difficulties doing that. The U.S federal and local state government can stop promoting birth control and we can make it easier for more immigrants to come in to help increase population if need be. The U.S will most likely not face difficulties with regard to population anytime soon. We have plenty of food, water, coal, gas, and oil to support a big population.
     
  3. Rene Atthowe

    Rene Atthowe Officer Candidate

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    But China is now controlling its population and this ratio is much increase on last five years. And if we are talking about its economy then we can see that china make its own products and this thing leads this country on a success.