Shrinking GDP and a falling population are poised to turn Japan into what economists call a “demographic time bomb,” and other countries could be next.
The article headline is quite click-baity, but there is some real substance to this article. The graphs are especially useful to teach concepts such as population momentum and the age-dependency ratio. These were the key parts of the article that caught my eye:
- An aging population will mean higher costs for the government, a shortage of pension and social security-type funds, a shortage of people to care for the very aged, slow economic growth, and a shortage of young workers.
- Following feminism’s slow build in Japan since the 1970s, today’s workers strive for equality between the sexes, something Japan’s pyramid-style corporate structure just isn’t built for. That’s because institutional knowledge is viewed as a big deal in Japan.
- The elderly now make up 27% of Japan’s population. In the US, the rate is only 15%. Experts predict the ratio in Japan could rise to 40% by 2050. With that comes rising social-security costs, which the shrinking younger generations are expected to bear.
- To make up for an aging population and aversion toward immigrant work, Japan’s tech sector has stepped up its efforts in robotics and artificial intelligence.