Demographic Trends Are Shaping Economic Growth

Part 2 of this year’s Global Monitoring Report analyses major demographic shifts that will shape economic growth and development for decades to come. The world's population growth has slowed markedly. At the same time the global working-age share peaked in 2012 and is now declining with seismic implications.

Population trends vary widely among countries and regions. The centers of global poverty will experience increases in working-age populations, offering the opportunity to reap a demographic dividend from rising incomes. However, many of these countries are plagued by conflict and fragility, and will need to accelerate job creation and investment in human capital to seize the advantage their young populations afford them.

In contrast, the engines of global growth are aging rapidly and many will experience outright population contraction alongside dwindling working-age shares. These countries must cement economic gains by boosting productivity, taking steps to increase labor force participation, and adopt fiscally sustainable old-age support systems.

The report classifies countries according to where they stand on the demographic spectrum and recommends appropriate policies at each stage. It also urges policy makers to ensure openness to flows of labor, trade and capital to smooth population imbalances.