October 18, 2011

INDIA: "Youthful population will support small population of older people," says analyst

LONDON, England / Financial Times / Special Reports / October 18, 2011

Taking the long view on success

Gideon Rachman, FT’s chief foreign affairs columnist, takes the long view on success.

Vision of the future: India's large, young population puts a strain on resources,
but will also produce many workers and consumers

If demography is destiny then the next century will belong to India and Africa. That is because their youthful populations ensure that they will continue to enjoy a plentiful supply of young workers supporting a relatively small population of elderly people, comments .Gideon Rachman.

“China will get old, before it gets rich”. India's population is likely to surpass that of China some time around 2030 – making India the most populous nation on earth. However, Indian industry is confident a large market of young workers and consumers will emerge.

Speaking of Japan, the columnist observes that "Over the past decade, public debts have soared – along with bills for pensions and healthcare. Less tangibly, Japan seems to have lost some energy, as an elderly and more conservative population increasingly sets the tone of public debate."

In both the EU and the US, there is growing anxiety that politics will increasingly be shaped by struggles between the generations over resources – as retirees struggle to hold on to generous social programmes, and the young become resentful of the tax burden imposed upon them.

Read the full report here
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2011
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