03 January 2020

Population trends

Excerpts from an article in the StarTribune:
Minnesota’s population will grow more slowly than ever in the 2020s, a development that will tug on the lives and fortunes of everyone in the state.

The Minnesota economy will also be squeezed as the last baby boomers retire in the decade. The 3 million-person labor force will essentially stop growing in the first five years of the 2020s, demographers say, and pick up only slightly after that.

This leveling off is already being felt across the state. Job vacancies have outnumbered the unemployed in Minnesota for two years. Businesses, governments and ordinary people find it’s harder to get things done. Hiring is especially challenging at restaurants, factories, schools and hospitals. Things aren’t delivered on time.

Such difficulties are mainly seen as effects from an economic upturn that, having started after the 2008-09 recession, has lasted longer than any other. But they’re also a product of the less-understood slowing of population growth...

This pattern is projected to continue into the 2030s and 2040s. There were so many baby boomers that their deaths from old age will offset the number of people being born or immigrating. By 2034, the Census Bureau says there will be more Americans over 65 than under 18. Similar challenges exist around the world. As populations become larger, it’s harder to sustain previous high rates of growth. And as more people around the world prospered, newer generations didn’t feel the need to have the high numbers of children that previous generations did.
Remember this trend when you hear politicians bragging about how they are responsible for falling unemployment.

Related: Hans Rosling clarifies world demographics - updated.


  1. I live in Maryland, and the same trend must be occurring here. I retired from teaching last June, and I have had several contacts from former colleagues asking if I am interested in a job. Where were all these jobs 40 years ago?

  2. This is actually very good news. A slack in the job market theoretically means that wages and working conditions will improve. Unfortunately, as you said, Trump will take credit even though he has little do with it. His restriction of immigration might be playing a role, however. It's hard to applaud that given the ugly racism employed in doing this, though.

    I considered this topic back in November of 2018: http://hipcrimevocab.com/2018/11/04/help-wanted/

    I concluded:

    "But the good news is that the demographic tide may not be able to be resisted. If indeed there is a skill and worker shortage, and mass immigration has been curtailed (even if the process by which it came about has been horrifically ugly), we might actually see a new age of marginally better working conditions for future generations, just like I was told there would be all those years ago."

  3. The other thing to note is that as the population goes down it means there are less people to buy things. Which I guess is good because there will be less of us to make things. Of course the adjustment period will suck.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...