Watch Out World, You're Going Gray

Aging, population decline mark next decades
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 4, 2009 11:38 AM CST
The world will see a demographic shift in the next decades as citizens of the developed world get older.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Wall Street's a wreck and terrorists are clamoring for WMDs, but the world's real crisis is far worse: It's getting old, Neil Howe and Richard Jackson write in the Washington Post. By the 2020s, baby boomers will push the median age in Western Europe and Japan to near 50, which means more retirees, high health costs, and probably lower GDPs. The one exception to the hyperaging crisis is America.

The US is getting older, yes, but fertility rates and immigration are keeping a spring in its step. America's real challenge will be leading the developing world as it faces drastic age waves and declining populations. "Abraham Lincoln once called this country 'the world's last best hope,'" write Howe and Jackson. "Demography suggests that this will remain true for some time to come."
(Read more old age stories.)