For progress and development, every country has their own bread and butter- their own medium for their citizens’ prosperity leading to overall growth -but what is common, at least in 2023, is that they all need a working human population.
With this in mind, a country’s demographics such as the distribution of its population by age and sex, coupled with its culture become gravely important.
To truly illustrate the severity of these factors, let’s have a look at two countries, both economic giants but of different types- one highly established and filled with industrious people and the other growing at an incredulous rate.
The countries being talked about are Japan and India
Japan, despite having a measly population in comparison to giants like India or Brazil, is the 3rd biggest economy in the world in terms of its total GDP. This can be attributed to the industrious and hard-working nature of its population.
Japan, due to geographical factors, is unable to get the most out of agriculture: it lacks the natural resources to do so. As such, the Japanese government has always been reliant on industry and trade. This sort of economic model requires a highly educated populous, in which area the Japanese have most definitely not cut themselves short. Japan’s literacy rate sits at 99 percent with a relatively high population-this is no easy feat. On the geopolitical level, Japan also enjoys stellar alliances with the West and most of the remaining world- contributing to its ability to sustain itself with minimal natural resources within its own bounds.
However, even with these supportive factors in mind, Japan’s economic growth has been stagnant. It has only seen growth rates of 1-2% in recent years. While the economic growth rate of developed countries does tend to be relatively low, Japan’s poor growth rate can be attributed to one thing in particular: its demographics.
Japan’s median age is 48.6 years as of 2020. This is the highest median age of any country in the world. Due to high life expectancy and a staggeringly low birth rate, their earning population has been declining at an alarming rate. This issue is also faced by certain European countries on a smaller scale. With less working population, it becomes difficult to establish continued growth at a countrywide level. Japan’s already low birth rate of 1.34 births per woman continues to reduce year by year. These are worrying signs for the Japanese dynasty that has been a leading country for centuries.
The nexus of ideas that made Japan successful is quickly being emulated by countries, such as India, which benefit from a younger work force, a population which dreams of more and works tirelessly towards its goal.
India, which has traditionally been an agrarian economy is now industrialising faster than ever-its people ready to take on new challenges. India’s GDP growth rate has been consistently high, and currently sits at 8.7 percent at the time of writing. India’s median age is 28.4 years.
As of 2020, 67 percent of the Indian populations falls within the age bracket of 15-64 years-amounting to about 935 million people. This allows India to be largely labour intensive-a fact that plays well with its immense capable workforce-while at the same time working to improve its technology.
With economies like India, which are rapidly modernising and set to catch Japan and the West in terms of technology, the future is set to be kinder to larger, educated working class people-of course, that is only with the right implementation of policies!