DAVOS, Switzerland, January 28, 2004 ( – A new report by the World Economic Forum in partnership with Watson Wyatt Worldwide has once again confirmed the coming population crisis that is to affect industrialized nations.  The International Pension Readiness Report, released in time for the January 21-25, 2004 World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, underscores the disastrous effect that falling fertility rates are having throughout most of the world.  Although a world-wide phenomenon, low fertility rates and a consequent decrease in labour force growth are especially alarming among industrialized nations.  Whereas the South-East Asia and Indian labour force will continue to grow in the next 30 years, the EU will see a decline in the labour force population from 208.7 million in 2000 to 151.2 million in 2050. During the same period, meanwhile, the number of people over the age of 60 in the EU will climb from 82.1 million to 125.1 million. Japan, with one of the world’s lowest fertility rates, would have to increase its immigration rate 11-fold in order to maintain its labour force population.  The pension systems of the major industrialized nations will also be undermined, as a decimated labour force population combined with increased numbers of retirees cripples the countries’ ability to afford pensions.  For example, active workers in Italy will be outnumbered by retirees by 2030.  As for economic productivity, the EU’s share of total global output will shrink by nearly half from today’s 18 percent to ten percent in 2050, whereas Japan’s share would decline by half from eight percent to four percent in the same period.  Richard Samans of the World Economic Forum said that “Economic output is determined by labour force growth and productivity rates.  In countries with significant projected labour shortages, the supply of goods and services may not meet demand and standards of living.”  Some of the solutions proposed in the report include: increased immigration; an extension of the retirement age; encouraging more women and younger workers to enter the workplace; and the export of capital and labour to other parts of the world where there are larger labour forces.

Sadly, no suggestion is made for incentives to encourage couples to have larger families.  Nor is the abortion issue mentioned.  In Canada alone since 1970, enough children have been killed through abortion to populate the city of Toronto.  This figure does not take into account the much larger number of chemical and intrauterine abortions induced through the birth control pill (also an abortifacient) and intrauterine devices.

  Sylvester Schieber, director of research at Watson Wyatt and co-author of the report, said that “[These] demographic changes present enormous challenges for developed countries.”

See the detailed, full Watson Wyatt report at  Read the related coverage of one incentive for an increased birth rate in Italy at:

Also read the related newsbyte which reveals that the number of people age 65 and older in the world has more than tripled over the past half-century at:


Commenting Guidelines

LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.