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Economy changed by ageing population and weak fertility

The US was the latest nation to blame demographic changes for sluggish economic numbers last week, and China has also seen its working age population fall this year.

Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said an aging workforce was to blame for the lowest labour participation rate for nearly 40 years.

George Magnus, senior independent economic advisor to UBS and author of The Age of Aging, told Today business presenter Simon Jack that "the general trend in the west and in countries like China is weak fertility, rising life expectancy and therefore the dependency of all of those older retiring people on the working age population gets bigger and bigger."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday 8 April 2013.

  • 08 Apr 2013