Since the financial crisis that economists seek explanations for the weak growth of Western economies: the austerity measures, the euro problems, etc .. The reason may be much deeper: demographics.
The consequences of the increasing longevity of the population and the low rates of fertility begin to affect the economy, with a shortage of labor and consumers. As the population ages consumption patterns change, with a consumer increase in health services, for example, and a reduction in the purchase of durable goods, such as cars.
In advanced economies the working population (15 to 64) will decrease by 2050: 26% in South Korea, 28% in Japan, 23% in Italy and Germany. Even in middle-income economies such as Russia and
China the decline will be 21%.
Automation can increase the productivity of an aging population, but the assumptions about the concept of old will have to change. A typical person of 65 is now as healthy as a 58-year-old worker, just 4 decades ago and can therefore work. Many companies have confirmed this fact, when adapting the workplace to the limitations of the older, productivity remain in line with the newest.
On the other hand, migration is not a great solution as countries supplying migrants have a trend to go for negative fertility rates.
In Japan, at present days, 22% of people over 65 years is already working and the in the USA, 18%.
We live as a time of great change and of certainties acquired break.