As the ageing population rises and fertility rates fall across Europe the continent faces an increasing labor force shortage, according to a recent analysis by a leading data and analytics company.

Lower fertility rates across most European Union (EU) countries is causing a reduction the growth rates of the youth population while increased life expectancy is leading to a steady rise in the growth of the elderly population.

Economic Research experts states that “The populations of most European cities are currently undergoing major demographic changes, which are projected to completely transform their economic and social landscape. We predict that between 2017 and 2025, 184 out of 263 metropolitan areas from the EU-28 will record a negative growth rate in their working age population.

‘‘Most of these cities belong to Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Poland, France and Romania. Riga (Latvia) and Galati (Romania) are both expected to register the high-pitched declines in their working age population during this period with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of only 2.2% and 1.7% respectively.’’

According to an expert by 2025 more than one-fifth of the population in metropolitan cities from the EU-28 covered by the company’s analysis will be aged 65 years old and over. The old age dependency ratio, which measures the number of elderly people, as a share of those of working age, is projected to increase from 31.2% in 2017 to 35.3% by 2025 across the EU-28 cities, due to the increase in life expectancy and a reduction in working age population. Between 2017 and 2025 Neubrandenburg (Germany) and Galati (Romania) are projected to register the maximum variation in the old age dependency ratio of all EU-28 cities of 14.6% and 13.2% respectively.

Further the expert  added, ‘‘The changing nature of the age structure we are seeing here is expected to increase the burden on the income earning population and could have an adverse impact on the economic growth predictions of EU-28 cities. Furthermore, it could also place pressure on public finances as healthcare expenditure and public pension provision costs rise.

‘‘Measures such as increasing the levels of post-retirement employment opportunities, offering more support for women returning to the workplace and investing in youth employment, education and training could help to reduce the impact of these demographic changes over the long term.’’


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