the competitive demographic edge of the U.S. thanks to immigration

The Slow News Is Good News” by Thomas F. Cooley in Forbes.com states the case that the rest of the world is aging at a far faster rate than is the United States. The reason? – we are a nation with continuous in-migration. The benefits: less of a retired-to-worker demographic imbalance. Relatively more tolerance for change. More productivity.
A passage from Cooley’s article:
The world economy is undergoing an even more dramatic transformation now, under the radar and at such a low frequency that it is easy to overlook. But we ignore it at our peril because it has profound consequences for issues–like “global imbalances”–that many think are directly linked to our current economic woes.
Let’s begin with a few facts about population growth. In almost all of the economically successful countries and regions, birth rates have declined and, as a result, the population is aging. In some countries, the population growth has or will become negative.
In China, for example, the median age of the population is expected to increase by nearly 11 years between now and the year 2050–from roughly 34 years to 45 years–and the population growth rate there will turn negative in the next several years. The picture is similar in Japan, where the growth rate has already reached close to zero. The average age is expected to increase from 44.7 years to over 55 years by 2050. In Korea, the median age of the population is expected to increase by nearly 20 years by 2050. If you’ve traveled to these countries recently, you’ll probably have noticed the significant graying of their population.
Similar patterns hold in Russia and much of Eastern Europe. All are expected to have shrinking populations. In Western Europe, the pattern is a little bit different, but the outcome is similar. The average age of the population is currently 40 years and is expected to increase to 47 by year 2050. Obviously, birth rates are well below replacement, and the population growth rate is projected to be negative eventually for the whole of Western Europe.
The demographic picture for the U.S., in contrast, is quite good. The median age is 36 and is expected to increase to just over 40 by 2050. The population growth rate will continue to stay positive and significant.

Comments are closed.