Which Countries Have Shrinking Populations?

By 2050, the world is expected to house nearly 10 billion people, prompting concerns over lack of natural resources, increased global temperatures and food shortages It is not unusual to hear about the threat of the rapidly growing global population

On average, each country is seeing their population grow by about one-and-a-quarter percent per year But a number of countries have the opposite problem: a population that is rapidly decreasing, giving way to its own set of challenges So, which countries have shrinking populations? Although the reasons for a shrinking population vary, the consequences are almost always the same Less people leads to a smaller workforce, slowing economic development and a mass of public debt Well, the worst cases of population decline can be found in Eastern Europe, where many countries will see their population drop by more than 15 percent over the next three decades

The most extreme case is Bulgaria, where the population is expected to be roughly 30 percent smaller by 2060 That translates to 164 fewer people per day, or 60 thousand per year Not far behind Bulgaria is Moldova, which loses just over one percent of its population annually, and has a death rate akin to war-torn countries in Africa Over the last three decades, the populations of these and other Eastern European countries have plummeted for almost identical reasons With the fall of the Soviet Union and subsequent economic collapse, many Bulgarians and Moldovans were left financially insecure and, thus hesitant to have children

Although the fertility rate in both countries has improved somewhat since then, it is still relatively low, at roughly 14 births per woman In comparison, the global average is 25 births per women and roughly 21 is needed to maintain their populations

Today, the biggest threats to Bulgaria and Moldova’s populations are emigration and a large proportion of elderly residents Both countries also suffer from “brain drain”, or when skilled and educated citizens leave in search of better opportunities In Bulgaria, it’s estimated that twenty percent of college students study abroad, and of those roughly 80 percent stay abroad The governments of Bulgaria and Moldova have launched aggressive campaigns to combat population decline, which include financial incentives for having more children and job opportunities to lure back expats However nothing thus far has been successful

But perhaps surprisingly, the country facing the greatest threat is actually Japan According to a government report, Japan’s population is expected to cut in half over the next 66 years, primarily due to its low-birth rate Experts say the problem is one of economics Cost of living is high, especially in cities where more and more Japanese are living What’s more, people of childbearing age are working long hours, leaving them little time to raise a child

The problem has gotten so dire, that in 2015 the Japanese government allocated nearly $30 million dollars to lifting birth rates This is in addition to a number of work-life balance policies that foster shorter hours, telecommuting and parental leave The government even funds matchmakers, dating services and singles parties in the hopes that young people will marry and eventually have babies In Japan, as well as Eastern Europe, public officials are already preparing for an economic fallout The bottom line is, fewer people in a country means there are fewer people spending money, working and paying taxes

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Squarespace… you should Japan’s population crisis is sparking a social phenomenon known as hikikomori To learn more why Japanese youth are checking out of society, watch our video here Thanks for watching TestTube News, don’t forget to like and subscribe for new videos every day

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