Making Migration Work - Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het ...

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Making Migration Work - Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het ...

40making migration workployment of young persons), suggest that unemployment and social unrest arelikely to last for most of this decade.However, this does not mean less global migration. Any slack in migration tohigh-income countries will be picked up with ever-increasing intensity by medium-incomecountries, first and foremost by the ‘bric 1 plus’, which includesTurkey, Mexico, South Africa and Indonesia. These countries are already large,in some instances very large, immigration players. In the next two decades,these and other fast-growing countries will become the true immigration hubs.If Turkey, for example, manages its political portfolio well, it is likely to becomenot only a fast-rising medium-income country, but also an attractive destinationfor immigration.2.3 the demographic landscape: a triple-squeezeDemographic shortfalls caused by persistently low fertility rates have encouragedmany European countries – including the Netherlands – to focus on migrationpolicy and future migration trends. Low fertility rates will soon leadto shrinking pools of workers and consumers and faster-ageing populations.Together, these two trends threaten to create a negative demographic momentum,as an ever-smaller number of women of child-bearing age produce fewerchildren than are needed to support health and pay-as-you-go retirementsystems. The persistent economic crisis will only exacerbate these trends andtheir effects.The Netherlands, though, is an outlier, since its people are already older thanin most other European countries and much older than countries on the otherside of the Atlantic (Figure 2.1). In 2005, the median age in the Netherlandswas about 39 years old, and the old age dependency ratio – the ratio of thepopulation of 65 years and older to the population aged between 20 and 64years — stood at about 21 per cent, which means that there are approximatelyfive persons of working age for each individual over age 65. The old age dependencyratio and average age are predicted to rise significantly over the nexttwo decades. In 2030, when many countries will be very old – in a few countriesincluding Japan and Germany, the median will be about 50 years old – themedian age in the Netherlands is going to be about 44 years old. The dependencyratio will also have increased to approximately 41 per cent (Table 2.1).These three trends of shrinking pools of workers and consumers, fasterageingpopulations and a resulting negative demographic momentum raisecrucial questions about the future of high-income countries. Who will dothe work that vibrant economies require? Who will pay the taxes needed to

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