Need help with my writing homework on What are the main demographic and social trends currently affecting the UK economy and other countries in Europe Describe the macro-economic impacts of these trends and outline the types of measures that governments might take to deal with them. Write a 2500 word paper answering; But the net effect is an overall declining population in Europe. From an economic perspective the problem is specifically the declining working population. Vladimir Spidla (2007), European Commissioner for Employment Affairs made a stark comparison that whereas “today, there are four people of working age for every person over 65, by 2050, this ration will have dropped to two workers paying for one pensioner”.
The problem of population shrinkage is particularly acute in the Scandinavian countries. According to a report published in the Guardian News & Media (2008), although Germany is currently the biggest country in the EU, it is likely to shrink. France’s population is likely to grow. It is said that 14 of the 27 EU countries will “have smaller populations in 50 years’ time”. The number of older people aged over 65 roughly doubles, in the UK to nearly 19 million, as does the number of over 80 years of age in the UK. The number of deaths in the EU is expected to outnumber births from 2015. Net migration is likely to be “the only population growth factor” but only for some years after which it will be insufficient to counter negative growth. Of the bigger EU countries, the UK has the highest birth rate with 1.77 children per woman as at 2004 (Office for National Statistics). So it has a stronger population growth as compared to most of Europe. The current population of 61 million is projected to increase by 25% by 2060 (Guardian News & Media, 2008).
The main causes of population decline are believed to be changes in family patterns and lifestyles such as more women being educated and working, fewer marriages and greater use of contraceptives. Ironically, rising prosperity is creating such conditions that are lowering fertility. More and more couples choose to defer having children and see them as affecting their careers.