A Worldwide Look At Demographic Trends

Watching the Players Championship and catching up on reading. The great thing about golf on TV is you can use 90% of your time to do something other than watch the game.

At any rate, I had an article from the Wilson Quarterly on demographic trends sitting around for weeks and finally got to it. If this sort of thing is your cup of tea I highly recommend the article. It’s well written, covers trends across the globe and the writer is humble enough to admit that what’s true today with regard to demographics may be completely false tomorrow.

Here’s an excerpt:

In Russia, the effects of declining fertility are amplified by a phenomenon so extreme that it has given rise to an ominous new term— hypermortality. As a result of the rampant spread of maladies such as HIV/AIDS and alcoholism and the deterioration of the Russian health care system, says a 2008 report by the UN Development Program, “mortality in Russia is 3–5 times higher for men and twice as high for women” than in other countries at a comparable stage of development. The report—which echoes earlier findings by demographers such as the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Murray Feshbach— predicts that within little more than a decade the working- age population will be shrinking by up to one million people annually. Russia is suffering a demographic decline on a scale that is normally associated with the effects of a major war.

It is important to consider what this means for the future of the Russian economy. Identified by Goldman Sachs as one of the BRIC quartet (along with Brazil, India, and China) of key emerging markets, Russia has been the object of great hopes and considerable investments. But a very large question mark must be placed on the economic prospects of a country whose young male work force looks set to decrease by half.

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