A very important number.
The share of working-age people in the world has peaked and is declining.
Kaushik Basu, Chief Economist at the World Bank, explains the importance of the peak in the global working-age population and the demographic challenges and opportunities ahead.
The latest Global Monitoring Report, produced jointly by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund states;
The world is undergoing a major population shift that will reshape economic development for decades. The direction and pace of this transition varies dramatically from country to country, with differing implications depending on where a country stands on the spectrum of aging and economic development.
- There are [roughly] 1.2 billion people between the ages of 15 and 24 in the world today
- 15-24 Year olds make up 17% of the global population but 40% of the unemployed, a figure that doesn’t include those enrolled in school.
- Some believe that this ‘youth bulge’ helps fuel social unrest — and is a ‘global time bomb’
- The world’s 15 youngest countries are all in Africa. Of the continent’s 200 million young people, about 75 million [37.5%] are unemployed.
The challenges for Australia, while well-documented, do not always appear well understood in general debate. Australia’s own percentage of the working-age population from 1975 to 2055 looks like this:
For government budgets in all jurisdictions, the ageing will mean greater spending on healthcare and less revenue from the income tax system.
The RISING number of young people but their DECLINING percentage within the population will place unfamiliar and genuinely new challenges on policy makers.