Popul Res Policy Rev (2006) 25:409–410 DOI 10.1007/s11113-006-9012-7 Georg Schu ¨ tte Received: 11 March 2005 / Accepted: 24 April 2006 / Published online: 18 January 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007 Germany’s future is gray. According to demographic projections every fourth German as opposed to every sixth German currently will be age 65 or in 2030. For many years, German society has been unable to maintain its reproduction rate. On average, German women of childbearing age have 1.3 children—otherwise known as the fertility rate. To keep the German population at its current level, however, the fertility rate will have to increase to 2.1 children. Similar developments can be seen in many other industrial and post-industrial societies. They all face the challenge of inverting age pyramids. Peace, prosperity, and medical advance have led to longer life expectancies while at the same time birth rates continue to decline. This demographic development will create new challenges to modern societies. The provisions of the European welfare state, for example, with its elaborate social security systems, have to adapt to these new realities. In 2003, the German–American Fulbright Commission focused its German Studies Seminar on the ‘‘Challenges of Demographics.’’ Twenty-four American university faculty
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 18, 2007
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