While Japan has been suffering through a demographic implosion, Germany may be catching up to them.
I’ve posted before about Japan’s dire decline in population. People there are simply not reproducing enough.
But now it seems Germany is catching up. That, at least, is what Bloomberg Business is reporting: “No Country for Young Folk? Germany Has Lowest Birthrate.”
Move over Japan. Germany now has the world’s lowest birthrate, and its economy is poised to suffer as a result.
Germany recorded about 8.3 births per 1,000 citizens in the five years through 2013, less than Japan’s 8.4 and the U.K.’s 12.7, according to a study released on Friday by consultants BDO AG and the Hamburg Institute for International Economics.
While other western nations are also experiencing declining birthrates, nowhere has the change been as drastic as in the country that carries the crown of Europe’s economic powerhouse. The tally has shrunk by half in the past 50 years, according to the findings.
“This results in significantly negative consequences for Germany’s economic attractiveness and performance in the global competitive landscape,” Henning Voepel, the head of the Hamburg institute, said in a statement. Impacts may include rising non-wage labor costs and an increased urgency to attract skilled workers from abroad, BDO said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has singled out Germany’s ageing population as one of the biggest challenges the country faces in the decades to come. The number of people of working age for every pensioner may shrink to two by 2033 from four in January 2013, projections by Eurostat, which provides statistical information for European Union institutions, show.
Friday’s study underlines the challenges western nations face in competing with rapidly growing emerging economies in Asia and other parts of the world. Ranked according to their attractiveness to entrepreneurs, Switzerland came top among 174 countries, followed by Singapore and Hong Kong. Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, ranked 11th, and the U.S. was 14th, according to the report.
I don’t know about Japan, but another factor in the European demographic implosion is Muslim immigration. We are headed into interesting times because those with a Christian heritage don’t want to have babies.