The demographic shock: an unexpected surprise?

SDA Bocconi Insight - Society Insight

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There are too many of us living on this planet, so we are inevitably heading toward the apocalypse. We’ve heard it all before, but a recent Ipsos report tells a different story : the growth rate of the world’s population is not out of control. Today there are 7.8 billion of us, and we’ll number 8.5 billion in a few decades, but then the demographic decline will set in.

It’s surprising, but not entirely so considering that the drivers of this decline are already set in motion, and we can see them in various aspects of everyday life. Naturally the pandemic, which has also played a part, could accelerate the downward direction of the world’s population. But it was already dropping in 20 countries before the pandemic, and the projections indicate that Covid-19 will lead to a demographic decline in 30 or more countries by 2050, if not sooner.

The question doesn’t only impact developed parts of the world such as Western European countries or some Asian nations. Developing economies are affected too – this may actually be the biggest surprise. And the implications in terms of public policy and market strategy are huge.



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