Japan’s Problematic Demography

https://www.bloomberg.com/quicktake/japan-s-shrinking-population

Summary:

Background:

  • Life expectancy of 87 years (longest living people) – due to high quality healthcare
  • Following World War II, there was a three-year period baby-boom
  • However, the birth rate has decreased ever since
  • Low Fertility Rate
  • Due to high expenditure on health and pensions, Japan’s public debt has soared over double its GDP

Issues:

  • Increased life expectancy and falling birth rates have cause the population to shrink.
  • Working population is also shrinking.
  • Higher dependency ratio
  • The aging population is causing a strain on the nation’s finances
  • Immigration is not high enough to make up for the shrinking workforce

Policies to combat the issues:

  • The prime minister aims to keep the population above 100 million
  • “Robot revolution” – investment in capital that can replace certain jobs involving labor
  • Prime minister is still reluctant to open Japan’s doors to foreigners, hence immigration is not being considered as a solution

 

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