Arnold Kling

European Home for the Aged

Arnold Kling, Great Questions of Economics
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An article in The Economist paints a picture of a future in which Europe becomes one big nursing home.

According to Bill Frey, a demographer at the University of Michigan, the median age in America in 2050 will be 36.2. In Europe it will be 52.7. That is a stunning difference, accounted for almost entirely by the dramatic ageing of the European population. At the moment, the median age is 35.5 in America and 37.7 in Europe.

...The contrast between youthful, exuberant, multi-coloured America and ageing, decrepit, inward-looking Europe goes back almost to the foundation of the United States. But demography is making this picture even more true, with long-term consequences for America's economic and military might and quite possibly for the focus of its foreign policy.

Discussion Question. What policy options do European countries have for maintaining their economies as this aging takes place?

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