ECONOMY

Demographic time bomb is ticking

demographic-time-bomb-is-ticking

There will be fewer than two workers for every person aged over 65 years old in 50 years’ time, meaning that by 2070 Greece will be a country of aged people with an overburdened social security system, according to a report from Brussels.

The European Commission report on the effects of demographic changes in recent years on the social and economic fiber of the European Union showed that Greece’s population of 10.7 million people accounts for just 2.4% of the bloc’s citizens. It also revealed that the Greek fertility rate remains below 1.5 births per woman and that in the not-so-distant future deaths will be more than twice as high as births.

The Greeks’ disposable income comes to 68% of the EU average, the per capita consumption in Greece amounts to 78% and population density is at 83 people per square kilometer.

The report presents long-term demographic trends across Europe, pointing also to the reduction in Europe’s share of the global population to below 4% by 2070. In this context the Greek population is not only aging but also shrinking dangerously: From 10.7 million in 2019 it is projected to decline to just 8.5 million in half a century.

The age groups in Greece from 10 to 69 year old will shrink by 10-15% by 2070, while the number of people aged over 70 will double. Deaths will be double births in 50 years’ time (130,000 against 65,000), with the fertility rate struggling to reach 1.5.

Life expectancy at birth in 2070 will be 86 years for males and 91 years for females, while the mean age will rise from 45 years today to 52 years in 2070.

Even more worrying is the increase in the dependence rate of pensioners on workers, showing the ratio of over-65s to financially active citizens: From four aged people for every 10 citizens at working age (20-65 years) today, the ratio in 2070 will come to seven aged people per 10 younger. This means there will be under two workers contributing for each pensioner by 2070.