Old age is the next global economic threat

Societies like Japan are on the front lines of a looming global challenge - the human species has never before dealt with prolonged and continuous ageing

Japan is the world's oldest major economy, with a dwindling pool of working-age Japanese people is forced to support an expanding pool of grey-haired consumers.PHOTO: REUTERS

While the world wrestles with a deadly pandemic and how to confront climate change, there's another, long-term global challenge that no one really knows how to deal with: Population ageing.

As the human race transitions from a burgeoning, exploding species to a static or shrinking one, economies around the world will come under significant strain.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2020, with the headline 'Old age is the next global economic threat'. Print Edition | Subscribe