Yep, that sounds like a true world crisis. And you can read about it right here in the NYT. The headline of the article tells readers that this year's meeting of the world's rich will focus on the aging of Asia's population. As the piece explains:

"Asia’s aging has big implications globally. It ultimately means fewer workers and higher wages, adding to the cost of goods manufactured in Asia. And it could mean less dynamic growth in a region that is increasingly important to the world economy."

Of course most of us value growth because it can increase living standards. This means things like higher wages, which translate into more income per person. Higher GDP that is simply due to more people, is not anything to be valued. (I'm open to a story if someone wants to give it.) And of course in a world where global warming is a huge problem facing the future, lower rates of population growth or population decline should be celebrated, not feared.

The piece also seems to get some of its basic numbers wrong. At one point it tells readers:

"Roughly 9 percent of Chinese, well over 110 million people, are now aged 65 or older. That percentage is only slightly below that in the United States. Moreover, it will rise to more than 16 percent by the end of the next decade, according to United Nations projections, meaning that by then China’s population will be roughly as old as Europe’s is now."

Let's see, 9 percent of China's population is over age 65 and this is only slightly below the ratio in the United States? That's not what the Social Security trustees say. The 2013 trustees report puts the total population in 2012 at 319.7 million. The over 65 population is listed at 43.6 million. This puts the share of the elderly at 13.6 percent. That's more than 50 percent higher than share of 9 percent given for China in this article.



Typo corrected, thanks Joe.

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