Economic and Social Impact of Aging Societies
By Father John Flynn, L.C.
ROME, SEPT. 30, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Decades of declining birthrates are causing a rapid aging of many nation's populations.
Romanian President Traian Basescu recently warned that his country's population was declining and that more needs to be done to support women who have children, the Associated Press reported Sept. 18.
"Romania urgently needs to revise its demographic policies," he told participants at a conference on population and development in the city of Sibiu. The nation has 4 million people in the work force, while retirees number 6 million, according to the Associated Press.
Germany is another country feeling the pinch of a declining and older population, the New York Times reported Sept. 23. The population started declining in 2003, with a drop of 5,000 that year. By 2006 the decrease reached 130,000.
The German population is experiencing "exponential negative growth," Reiner Klingholz, director of the Berlin Institute for Population and Development, told the New York Times.
The situation in Japan is also causing widespread concern, reported the British newspaper the Telegraph in a June 1 article. The population peaked at 128 million in 2005 and some forecasts expect it to drop below 100 million by 2050.
These demographic changes are not only a problem for rich countries, noted an Associated Press report on April 11. Some countries "'will grow older before they grow richer," said Somnath Chatterji, team leader of the World Health Organization's Multi-country Studies Unit, at a U.N. conference earlier this year.