Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Demographics and all that

There is a discussion on the Real Estate Forum about whether BC should continue to attract young people. Migrants from other Provinces or immigrants to keep the tax base high.

There are lots of opinions but no data.

Well here is one piece of data- median age:


As you can see we are sitting at a pretty high median age in most parts of the Province. Some parts like South Okanagan are over 50. That means half the population is over 50 years of age!

Lots of areas are over 40, and the curves are pointing upwards. BC's over-all median is 40 and is likely to keep moving up. Even if we had a baby boom now, and the median age came crashing down, those bouncing babes wont be paying tax for two another two decades.

Take out the children and students and retired folks and that doesn't leave a lot of people left to carry the increasingly heavy tax burden. WE NEED YOUNG PEOPLE NOW.

By contrast China's Median age is 33. In India it is 25. Canada is 39. Ontario is 37.

The fight in the near future will be to how attract young people. Countries which have low birth rates and low immigration, and an elderly population who expect good benefits are near implosion.

eg Japan which has been a two decade long deflation partly due to demographics.. has a debt to GDP of...wait for it...of 197%!!

How are young Japanese going to pay this huge debt, when there are less of them and lots of older folks who will need care and support? It defies belief.

This graph demonstrates the shift that is going on quite dramatically: