A Young and Growing Population (Part 2)
By some measures (such as the Purchasing Power Parity approach to GDP), China has already surpassed the U.S. in absolute amount of GDP, although it still has a much lower GDP per capita. Some forecasters, however, are predicting that China will be Number One even in GDP per capita in the not too distant future because its growth rate is twice or more than that of the U.S. This reminds me of the years when I was studying in the U.S. in the 1960s when there were many books and articles predicting that Japan would surpass the U.S. in economic might before the last century was over. There were also a lot of talks about “Japan Number One.” The prediction never came true for one simple reason: the Japanese stopped producing babies. They were among the first ones to commit demographic suicide. The problems of Japan are well known today: a rapidly ageing population and a shrinking labor force that is putting a great strain on the economy. In fact, in recent years, Japanese policy has had to reconsider its anti-immigration stance and is now open to more foreign workers (including Filipinos and Filipinas) especially in the health and caregiving sectors.