The report also cites that South Asian countries have seen an unprecedented growth in their working class whereas the dependent class has receded sharply. The same phenomena occurred in Europe but it took a century whereas in these Asian countries, it took around thirty years. The reason for this working age population’s expansion is also due to the fact that birth rates are falling in these countries whereas the working age populations are exploding.
This population boom can also be turned around by countries and used to their advantage. The report, entitled ‘Shaping the Future: How Changing Demographics Can Power Human Development’ has been compiled by representatives from more than twenty countries, also contains a set of recommendations which can be used to make the best use of the workforce to maintain growth and increase production.
“When countries have a greater share of people who can work, save and pay taxes, they have the potential to transform their economies and power investments in healthcare, education and other building blocks of future prosperity,” said Thangavel Palanivel, lead author of the report.
The report also outlines ‘9 Actions for Sustainable Development’. Among the suggestions of the report include provision of jobs to cater to the growing workforce as well as equal employment opportunities for women. Also, countries must also find ways to turn savings into investments so as to reap maximum benefit.
“The window of opportunity to increase productivity, invest in growth and save for the future is between now and 2050,” said Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Director for Asia and the Pacific. “If countries in Asia-Pacific do not create optimal employment conditions, the regional economy will begin to slow down by 2050 as the current working-aged population begins to retire.”