Europe is currently facing with demographic challenge, all European countries in EU currently has to cope with demographic decline, low natural growth and the aging of part of its population. It is a challenge we must rise to, and we must rise to it now!
European commission have published trends for the aging population in Europe:
- The average number of children per woman, stands at 1.5 children in the EU ( whereas the population replacement level is 2.1). They have announced that rate projected by the EU for 2030 could be 1.6.
- Life expectancy could continue to increase by a further five years between 2050 and would thus result in a larger proportion of people surviving to the ages of 80.
- Immigration (1.8 million immigrants get into the EU in 2004, 40 million in 2050 according to Eurostat’s projections) could offset the effects of low fertility and extended life expectancy.
- The working-age population (15 to 64) in EU-25 will fall by 48 million between 2006 and 2050.
European Commission gives five directions for demographic challenge over the coming years:
- Helping people to improve the balance between professional, private and working life
- Promoting employment in Europe through more jobs and longer working lives
- A more productive and dynamic Europe
- Receiving and integrating immigrants in Europe
- Sustainable public finances in Europe
For example, typical example of demographic change in Europe is Germany. Germany is one of the the biggest country in the EU, with more than 82 million people, but it is likely to shed almost 12 million by 2060. By 2050, every third German will be over 60 years old and German women have 1.3 children, which is an alarming figure. Since 2003 government have new approach, they make the workplace more family-friendly, changed their strategy from additional money to support family.
On the other hand Britain will overtake Germany and France and become the biggest country in the EU in 50 years’ time. Demographic trends show Britain’s positive birth rate, reason can be immigration. The survey predicts that Britain’s population by 2060 will increase by 25% from the current figure of just over 61 million to almost 77 million. British birth rate now it’s highest in a generation – 1.91 children per woman.
The average age of Europeans is now just over 40; this will be 48 by 2060. Survey says that “From 2015 onwards deaths would outnumber births, and population growth due to natural increase, would cease. The EU ‘s population now stands at 495 million and is projected to rise to more than 520 million by 2035, before falling to 505 million by 2060 and that across the EU ‘s 27 countries there are now four people of working age for every person over 65, but by 2060 that ratio will be 2:1.
The keys to solve the demographic problems are the promotion of demographic renewal, more jobs and longer working lives, higher productivity, integrating migrants and sustainable public finances. I think that we have less than ten years to fix and grab the opportunity.