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As the World Ages, Economies Will Change



For VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.

The world is getting older. As more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. This has effects not only in the workplace, but in the world of finance. The bond rating agency Moody’s says the aging population will lead to a drop in household savings. This could mean that total investments will fall and economic growth could slow. Some reports have described Japan, Italy and Germany as the world’s “Super Aged” nations. That is the name for countries in which at least 20 percent of the population is at least 65 years old.

Elena Duggar is head of Moody’s Sovereign Risk Division. She says changes in many populations are taking place quickly. In five years, six more countries will join the list of super-aged nations. And 34 nations will be super-aged by the year 2030. Elena Duggar says this will have a big influence on labor and savings. Kishore Kulkarni is with the Metropolitan State University of Denver. He says immigration is one way to reduce the effects of an aging population. Older adults spend money differently that younger ones and experts say that difference affects the economies of countries. But, Kishore Kulkarni believes that specialized career training and productivity gains from technology could make up for the drop in the number of workers. He also says that an aging population will be less of a problem in countries were older people are highly valued. And most experts agree that young workers will have to work longer and retire later than today’s older workers.

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