The Palimpsest of Sawbones Surio

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BRIC demographics: brief addendum to the PPF post

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ermine punctured my optimistic balloon in the PPF post with a good comment. I admit I was foolish in not catching the obvious regarding the passage of Father time, its effect on population age, and Government capriciousness in the face of it.
Especially, since I had written something on ageing myself, not so long ago! 😦

Well, never too late to make amends. I ran a small visual demographic trend of the “famous four” (the BRIC, that is). Here it is, in full glory. So, while I may not have the white pelt of an ermine (yet), things are not so rosy while my generation does get to middle age!

Population ageing for the BRIC

Population ageing for the BRIC (1997 — 2050)


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Population ageing for the BRIC (1997 — 2050)

Contrast with few developed nations (and Mexico)

Population ageing in other nations (1997 — 2050)



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Population ageing in other nations (1997 — 2050)

Legend of the screencast:

    The red dot that you see is the country in question being tracked. The other dots around this are all other countries within the same continent — China, India graphs show all other Asian countries and the Brazil graph shows rest of South America, for instance.

  • The share of 60 year olds is doubling every decade. The graph is tracking to see on a YoY basis, how much of the population is being replaced by the younger workforce.
  • Already by 2005, the share of under 60 year olds had dropped to less than 80% in developed nations while it was over 90% in developing nations. This contrast is well captured in the graphs, where the dependencies are higher for developed nations than developing nations
  • Already by 2008 more than 20% of European population was over 60. Contrast this with Asia and LatAm with less than 10% of the population being over 60. This makes it good going for now, but wait a minute, I am part of that “young person” demographic, dammit! I will be part of that “old person” demographic by 2050, double dammit!
  • What the chart also captures (but not explicitly) is that the fertility rates across the spectrum are dropping. Pay attention to the number next to the population growth %. More eerie feeling followssssssss…..

Our economic model has created less and less jobs in response to the “creative destruction” of more traditional jobs around the globe. If this trend keeps up, this will lead to even more chaos in terms of the labour market, job rotations and ageing workforces around that time.

The real effects of peak oil is going to become apparent by the end of this decade and strongly manifest itself by 2030 for sure, so what might hit this young generation by then is going to be a different whammy. Well, ermine, thanks for jolting me with that point. Yes, things are not getting better for either of us, and it is better to bank on social capital, learning to mend and make do, and repackage our lifestyles drastically.

I think much of this juggernaut has to roll on, and there is nothing that the ermines or Surios can do to stop it, let alone stem it. But, I remembered this one from “Aw Shucks” Jimmy Stewart reading a homespun poem that he wrote about his dog, “Beau” (Bo).

A reminder, that time and tide waits for none, but it is for us to prepare with grace (and all by ourselves with the help of Social capital).

Written by Surio

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