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Population Heroes

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soapbox_population_numbers.jpgThink getting older is a pain? Your troubles are nothing compared to those of the planet.

As world population begins to stabilize, an interesting thing is happening to the distribution of age groups. With fewer babies are being born and longer lives being lived, humanity as a whole is aging. That means more pressure to pay for pensions, medical benefits, and other pledges society makes to caring for older people - at the same time slower workforce growth means relatively fewer taxpayers to foot the bill.

In an article for Momentum magazine last year, IonE program coordinator Kate Knuth labeled the trend "a perfect fiscal storm" and called for "a new kind of courage" by population heroes who are brave enough to take on the looming fiscal implications and do something about them before it's too late.

"The world's population transition will need superheroes, but their suits won't be made of spandex," Knuth wrote. "The heroes will be public leaders preaching about demography and economics, politicians bearing the scars of campaigns based on this fiscal reality, and an electorate willing to vote those politicians into office and help them govern."

Read Knuth's insighful article for more thoughts on global demographic trends and what we might do to prepare for them.

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