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Demographic crisis: 13 nations set to be 'super-aged' by 2020

A report from ratings agency Moody's has revealed the scale of the demographic crisis facing a number of countries.  

The demographic tax

Moody's warns an ageing population will have serious implications for a number of countries. 'The demographic dividend that drove economic growth in the past will turn into a demographic tax that will ultimately slow this growth for most countries worldwide,' it said.

In a detailed report on the crisis, the ratings agency highlighted three key trends.

* By next year over 60% of Moody’s-rated countries will be officially ‘ageing’. The United Nations (UN) definition for ageing is populations with more than 7% elderly at age 65 or higher.

* By 2020, the number of ‘super-aged’ societies will increase to 13 globally from three today. The UN defines populations with more than 20% elderly as ‘super-aged’. By 2030, 34 countries will be super-aged.

* Ageing is not just a developed world problem. Many emerging markets are already classified as ageing. Moreover, the pace of ageing in some of these countries is more rapid than in developed economies.

So, which 13 countries will be super-aged by 2020?

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Japan

No surprises that the well documented demographics crisis in Japan will be the most severe among the 13 countries by 2020. Moody's predicted by the start of the next decade that 28.6% of the nation's population will be super-aged.

'There will be 48.7 people over the age of 65, for every 100 people in the 15-64 working-age group in Japan in 2020,' Moody's points out.

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Germany

The super-aged population in Germany is expected to rise from 21.4% to 23.1%. Moody's suggest the problems could be more severe in Germany than Japan as the participation rate for the 65+ demographic is four times less in Japan.

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Malta

The super-aged rate in Malta is expected to rise from 17.7% to 20.6%.

'Malta will have between 2.7 and 3.3 working adults for each elderly person by 2020.'

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Finland

The super-aged population in Finland is expected to rise from 20.4% to 22.5% by 2020.

Moody's said the country, which has seen its working age population decline for the last 15 years, can expect more of the same over the next 15 years.

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Netherlands

Over in the Netherlands the super-aged population is predicted to rise from 18.1% to 20.1% by 2020, effectively equating to a 5% decline in its working age population.

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Sweden

Sweden will join neighbour Finland by 2020, with its super-aged population rising to 22.5%.

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Italy

Meanwhile Italy, which has had to deal with it fair share of crises of late, will see 22.8% of its population in the super-aged bracket by 2020.

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Portugal

Meanwhile Portugal, which was at the epicentre of the credit crisis, is facing another problem down the line with its super-aged group tipped to rise to 21% by 2020.

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Bulgaria

The decline in the number of children being born in Bulgaria is expected to result in a 10% drop in its workforce over the next 15 years. By 2020 Moody's expects its super-aged society to hit 21.1%.

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Croatia

Croatia is another Eastern European country facing a demographic population crisis, with Moody's forecasting its super-aged category will rise to 20.9% by 2020.

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Slovenia

Slovenia is also set to join the super-aged big boys, with its population in this demographic rising from 17.9% to 20.5% by 2020.

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Greece

The Hellenic Republic, which has been in a perpetual state of crisis since the credit crunch, can look forward to demographic problem in the future. The country, which completes the 13, will sees its super-aged population rise to 21.5% by 2020.

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UK

Over on these shores, the demographic crisis is not quite so severe. The 65+ bracket is tipped by Moody's to rise to 18.9% in 2020, with the country expected to join the super-aged in 2025 at 20%. However, the UK is expected to cement its place thereafter, with the super-aged bracket rising to 21.7% by 2030.

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