In developed nations, there is a clear trend to living longer and having fewer children. Certain countries have countered this trend through (planned or unplanned) immigration, but this approach also causes change, with new ethnic mixes, and imported cultures, which in turn has led to a political backlash. It is also well accepted that, as the wealth of emerging markets increases, a similar process is underway with them. This has been witnessed already in China, which has a particularly strong demographic change ahead, following the one child policy. But there are still important questions that remain open, such as: What impact will ageing populations have on the economy and society? Will all countries be able to manage the demographic transition? And what if the demographic bust proceeds more quickly than most people currently believe?
The basic trends
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