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The most populated country in Europe and with each mother only producing 1.42 children, it has the lowest reproduction rate in the world. 16% of the population is over 65 which is greater than the under 15 population…
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ITALY AND GERMANY LOW BIRTHRATE AND AGING POPULATION by
James Webster

Germany, as of 2010, had a population of 82 million people. The most populated country in Europe and with each mother only producing 1.42 children, it has the lowest reproduction rate in the world. 16% of the population is over 65 which is greater than the under 15 population. In Italy 25% of women do not have children and a further 25% have only one child. 18% of the population is over 65 and is predicted to rise above 30% by 2030. This can only lead to a growing elderly population. The region of Liguria, Italy has the highest ratio of elderly to youth in the world, a statistic that is repeated throughout Italy.

Fertility decline and population aging will have a dramatic effect on society and if these problems are nor addressed will only become more severe in the future. The increase in age population will also increase the population ratio to population dependency. There will be problems with the long term care of the elderly. The costs of that dependency is born by the Government and ultimately by a society through taxes in an ever diminishing workforce due to a decline in fertility. Of course a decline in the birthrate will leave a short fall in all forms of employment both professional and menial. There will definitely be a labor shortage. The decline in birthrate effects the living arrangements of the elderly. There are more elderly living alone and the strong family support that is prevalent in most societies will weaken.With less family to help , the elderly persons financial position will also weaken and lead to serious financial difficulties.
Immigration has always been one of the answers to labor shortage throughout the world. “Large-Scale Immigration is Suggested as a Solution to Declining Workforces in Western Nations.”(Wikipedia.) This alone will not solve the problem and major changed to government policies will be needed to buck the trend of low fertility. The distance between the working life and family life will be needed to be brought closer together to encourage families to have more children. Issues such as child care subsidies and parental work policies taking in flexible work hours and parental leave need to be looked at. Quality and affordable childcare will need to be provided. Although Government policies to reverse the trend of low birthrate and the consequent aging population will be slow and the benefits will not be seen for many years but these issues need to be addressed now in Germany and Italy to ensure a fruitful future for both countries.
Research
Ik Ki Kim.(2000). Policy Responses To Low Fertility and Population Aging In Korea. retrieved from http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/popdecline/kim.pdf
Aging of Europe.(n.d.) Wikipedia the Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ageing_of_Europe Read More
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