Europe is facing a demographic crisis. In the World Economic Forum’s Global Population Ageing Report, nine of the 10 nations with the largest populations of over-60s and over-80s are in Europe. Only Japan has more senior citizens.
With that in mind, could the current refugee crisis offer long-term benefits to the nations that open their borders? Over half of the migrants applying for asylum were aged between 18 and 34. Add in teenagers and children, and you have a migrant population of which 81% are under the age of 34.
In Germany, where many migrants hope to settle, the national population has shrunk by 1.4 million in the last decade. This trend could lead to a further reduction of 10 million by 2060. Europe’s largest economy has already begun to see the benefits of migration: in 2014 its population saw the largest increase since 1992.
Author: Donald Armbrecht is a freelance writer and social media producer.
Image: An elderly woman walks on a stick along a shopping street in Berlin. REUTERS/Thomas Peter