U.S. demographic future relatively bright

American Enterprise Institute’s Nicholas Eberstadt compared the demographics of some countries at Oracle OpenWorld 2015 (report by Forbes).

China’s working-age population will contract by about 100 million by 2035. 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.

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, is also its oldest. The average age is 46. 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. 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. There is no immigration to speak of.

He called Russia  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 sees United States demographic trends as mostly positive. The US 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.

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