The rapid aging and slow growth of the developed world’s population will soon exert tremendous pressure on public pension and health care budgets. Aging can be gauged using the dependency ratio—the ratio of people older than 65 to those aged 15–64. Dependency ratios in the U.S. and Canada are still significantly lower than in Europe and Japan. The U.S. ratio is expected to soar, however, as baby boomers begin retiring within a decade. By contrast, dependency ratios in Latin America remain quite low.
Suggested citation: "Demographic Change," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 99-10, pp. 12, 10.01.1999.