Skip to comments.The 5 Wealthy Countries With the Best Demographics
Posted on 02/25/2014 2:37:15 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Im doing PR for my new book, The Demographic Cliff, in Australia at the moment. Last week, I was in Sydney, and tomorrow until Sunday, Ill be in Brisbane, speaking at the Secure the Future conference.
I always tell Australians that, despite my grim worldview for the next six to 10 years, they will weather the next great global financial crisis better than anyone else.
If I could live in any wealthy, English-speaking country, it would be there.
Because of its demographics, and its a very civil society!
The truth is that, with the lower birth trends that come from increasing urbanization, wealth, and education, almost all developed countries have sideways (at best) to falling demographic trends for decades to come.
But there are a few exceptions
And they are, in order:
Australia. Norway. Sweden. New Zealand. Denmark. These guys are the worlds Fab Five. Theyre the few wealthy countries or marginal growers (Ill explain below) that have positive demographic trends in the future, largely thanks to their higher immigration rates and higher birth rates (encouraged by greater maternity benefits for working women).
Unfortunately, in the great scheme of things, the Fab Five are smaller countries.
Australia only has a population of 23 million people. Sweden has 9.5 million people. Denmark: 5.6 million. Norway: 5 million. And New Zealand: 4.5 million. All of these countries combined, are only a little larger than California.
Ultimately, with the demographic trends I see ahead, I expect the developed world will split into three segments in the future:
Segment #1: The marginal growers the Fab Five.
Segment #2: The sideways survivors the U.S., Canada, France, and the U.K.
Segment #3: The shrinkers Japan, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, East Europe, Russia and even China, after 2025.
Almost all of the demographic growth between 2023 and 2070 will come from emerging countries that are still urbanizing and generating middle-class consumers, albeit not nearly as affluent as their developed-world counterparts.
The sideways survivors will remain relatively steady, thanks to their once-higher immigration rates and birth rates (although the latter is now in decline), and their still-high productivity.
Of the group, the U.S. and Canada will fare better than the U.K. and France in the decades ahead because of their higher productivity and the fact that theyre less dependent on the great shrinking vortex of Europe.
The shrinkers face sharply declining demographic trends in the decades ahead, a reality made worse by their particularly low birth rates and immigration policies. How do you grow when both your workforce and population are declining?
But lets get back to the Fab Five. Look at the Spending Wave for Australia below:
As you can see, Australia sees flat trends between 2010 and 2015, after which itll be the only developed country with slightly positive trends into 2018.
In the next global boom, from 2025 to 2035, Australia will have the strongest surge of any developed country. After that, itll see a minor downtrend into 2045. But then another boom is likely into around 2065 to 2070 although falling births and immigration, over the next decade, could compromise that trend a bit compared to this projection.
Right now, Australia has the highest immigration per capita of any major, wealthy, developed country. Its greater than even Canada or the U.S., which are immigration magnets. And it could continue to enjoy good immigration levels at times, even in the coming depression, as the wealthy flee countries like China.
The bottom line is that Australia simply has the best demographic trends of any wealthy, developed country.
The second of the Fab Five is Norway, with its high oil revenues that could reverse on it in the next decade. Norway sees a plateau top between 2015 and 2020, and then a minor downturn in demographic trends into 2025. Then it booms, albeit a bit less than Australia, into 2040.
Sweden, our #3 of the Fab Five will endure a bigger downturn between 2015 and 2025 than Norway, but then has a pretty sharp spending surge into 2040.
New Zealand comes in at #4. It has a larger downturn between 2010 and 2025, and a good surge into 2040. Its demographic trends are largely flat for a while after that.
Denmark is the last of the Fab Five, with a sharper downturn between 2015 and 2030 before stronger upward trends into 2040.
Like the sideways-survivors, U.S. and Canada, Australia and New Zealand should fare better in the decades ahead because theyre positioned close to the Pacific Rim and Asia, which should be the greatest overall growth region in the decades ahead.
While I hate to inform the Australians that the China and commodity bubbles will hit them harder in the next global financial crisis, as will their very over-priced real estate, I will say that no country has lower government debt or is better positioned for the next boom around 2023 to 2036 (or later).
Thats when we could see the greatest commodity boom and bubble in history, as emerging countries dominate growth. And Australia, with its strong commodity exports, is perfectly set to ride the wave.
If Denmark is “fab” it ain’t due to immigration. I have a colleague who briefly lived there. They do everything but implant explosives in your carotid artery that go off the day your visa expires.
Australia. Norway. Sweden. New Zealand. Denmark. These guys are the worlds Fab Five. Theyre the few wealthy countries or marginal growers largely thanks to their higher immigration rates and higher birth rates (encouraged by greater maternity benefits for working women). “
Um, does it make a difference with which immigrates are having the high birth rates?
“Um, does it make a difference with which immigrates are having the high birth rates?”
That’s kind of the elephant in the room that the author pretends is not there.
“...could continue to enjoy good immigration levels...”
RE: Um, does it make a difference with which immigrates are having the high birth rates?
I can’t speak for the Scandinavian countries, but I am very familiar with Australia and NZ as I have family living there.
Australia and NZ have MUCH SANER immigration policies than the US of A. It is based on Entrpreneurship ( how much money you can BRING IN and create jobs ) and SKILLED LABOR MIGRATION.
They also don’t get taken by just any asylum seekers ( even as they are surrounded by huge bodies of water where they share no borders with any third world country ).
Finally, they CONTROL THEIR DEBT in a sane and rational way.
Australia’s bond credit rating is rated AAA by all three major ratings agencies.
The current ratio of Australian government debt to gross domestic product (GDP) is compared favorably to the average ratio for developed countries. Their current budget is in fact, ON TRACK FOR A SURPLUS !!
How does Brazil figure into all of this? I am reading an interesting book by Davidson that supports the idea of Brazil becoming the new economic “America”.
“that have positive demographic trends in the future, largely thanks to their higher immigration rates”
No thanks. Why would I move to a “Fab Five” to live among immigrants from Krapistan or the Congo? If I want to be immersed within those groups I could move to one of those hellholes. Mass immigration does not make you “Fab.”
“Australia and NZ have MUCH SANER immigration policies than the US of A. It is based on Entrpreneurship ( how much money you can BRING IN and create jobs ) and SKILLED LABOR MIGRATION.”
Unfortunately, their points based immigration system favors youth and discriminates against older people. Their economic immigration scheme requires millions.
RE: Unfortunately, their points based immigration system favors youth and discriminates against older people.
Being older does count against you, however the SKILLS you bring it count for more. If a company wants you for your skills and experience, they can get you permanent residency FASTER than the USA’s system will.
RE: Why would I move to a Fab Five to live among immigrants from Krapistan or the Congo?
I can’t speak for the Scandinavians, but the Krapistan and Congo migrants in NZ and Australians do not occupy a huge number of their populations any more than the USA.
RE: How does Brazil figure into all of this? I am reading an interesting book by Davidson that supports the idea of Brazil becoming the new economic America.
Too many people who think and vote like our Democrats there.
There are about 475,000 Muslims in Australia. There are 7 Million Muslims in the USA.
Once (months ago), I filled out the online points system at the Australian Gov’t website. Skills count more for younger people. At a certain point in age, they do not want you. We did not want to tie us the very large amount of resources to enter as economic residents.
Norway, Sweden? Pure BS!