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The Aging Population

I am always interested to hear statistics and predictions that will affect our industry. One of the areas that will affect us, along with many other industries is the aging population, so I thought I would share a few tidbits.

Among my sources of information on the topic was a recent McKinsey report "Ten Trends to Watch in 2006" (its available to subscribers). I also gleaned some insights during our ACSESS conference, first from a speaker representing the Conference Board of Canada and then another who works for Staffing Industry Analysts.

Some bits and pieces from those sources:

1. The generation following the boomer generation (which is reaching retirement age now) has 16% fewer workers than the boomers. Read labour shortages.
2. In Canada our population growth in 2025 will be about half of the growth rate in 2001. Today's growth rate is already down about 20% from 2001.
3. The projected housing starts in Canada (a good indicator of population growth) in 2006 is about 200,000. By 2025 it will be about 140,000. (Are you in the building industry?)
4. Today about 60% of the population in Canada live in single homes (not apartments/condos) with 40% in the condos. By 2025 that number is reversed. This represents a big hit to the municipal taxes ... or more likely a changes tax system to hit up the old folk!
5. This older population will be paying less taxes into the system and becoming a bigger burden on, amongst other things, the healthcare system.
6. There will be 35% more people over 75 years old in Germany in 2015 than in 2005. The increase in the tax burden to maintain current benefit levels is 90%.
7. In the same period in Japan, there will be 36% more over 75 plus 13% less under 5 yrs old. The increased tax burden there to maintain current benefit levels will be 175%

You can draw your own comparisons for Canada, but clearly we are going to be leaving our children and our children's children with a mess (and I didn't even mention the environment and world resources!) Food for thought, perhaps input for business plans and germinating future business ideas ... and on that note I think I'll go have a cold one and wish future generations lots of luck!