The advantages of demographic change after the wave: fewer and older, but healthier, greener, and more productive?
Population aging is an inevitable global demographic process. Most of the literature on the consequences of demographic change focuses on the economic and societal challenges that we will face as people live longer and have fewer children. In this paper, we (a) describe key trends and projections of the magnitude and speed of population aging; (b) discuss the economic, social, and environmental consequences of population aging; and (c) investigate some of the opportunities that aging societies create. We use Germany as a case study. However, the general insights that we obtain can be generalized to other developed countries. We argue that there may be positive unintended side effects of population aging that can be leveraged to address pressing environmental problems and issues of gender inequality and intergenerational ties.
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