With this entry, we endВ GT2030.comвЂ™sВ series of essays entitledВ вЂњPopulation Aging to 2030вЂќ. Two aspects of research and debate over population aging set it apart from all other topics discussed inВ Global Trends 2030.В First, demographic projections using standardized methods are freely available. So,В demographers can already describe much of the next two decadesвЂ™ demographic conditions in some detail and with reasonable accuracy.В Second, forВ the roughly two dozen states that will reach вЂњa post-mature age structureвЂќ (median age over 45.0) before 2030, no historic parallels exist. In other words, for todayвЂ™s rapidly aging states, researchers have a reasonably accurate demographic picture of 2030. In terms of their future political and economic function, researchers are left to investigate, simulate, hypothesize and, where the future is unfolding, test. History provides no lessons.
While one can take away a variety of images of the future from the 11 essays presented in вЂњPopulation Aging to 2030вЂі, a single message cuts through them all: even discounting the myriad political, social, environmental and economic issues that are restructuring human society, demographic changeвЂ“by itselfвЂ“is sufficient to make the world of 2030 a distinctly different world than the one in which we live today.
The five В themes that were posted were:
- Global population aging to 2030В (2 essays);
- A demographic and geographic overviewВ (R. Cincotta);
- A global overview of aging-related security issuesВ (J. Goldstone).
- ChinaвЂ™s aging trendВ (2 essays);
- On the implications of ChinaвЂ™s aging trajectoryВ (R. Jackson);
- On the runtime of ChinaвЂ™s riseВ (J.D. Sciubba).
- Advanced aging in EuropeВ (3 essays);
- В On the economic dynamics of aging in European welfare statesВ (R. LeeВ &В A. Mason);
- On implications of European population aging on NATOВ (M. Haas);
- On the staying power of EuropeвЂ™s aging liberal regimesВ (R. Cincotta).
- Advanced aging in Japan and S. KoreaВ (2 essays);
- On agingвЂ™s influence on JapanвЂ™s defense readiness and postureВ (T. Yoshihara);
- On demographic considerations around reunification on the Korean PeninsulaВ (E.H. Stephen).
- Immigration and ethnic change in aging EuropeВ (2 essays);
- An verview of immigration to Europe and its impacts on ethnic compositionВ (D.A. Coleman);В
- A view of the EU ethnic future and its implicationsВ (E. Kaufmann).
Richard Cincotta & Jonathan Potton
The Stimson Center, Washington, DC