According to a European Commission report just released in Brussels, recent demographic changes in Greece may indicate problematic social and macroeconomic imbalances for the country in the future.
The report itself presents long-term demographic trends across Europe, including their social and economic ramifications, for all the countries within the European Union.
For Greece specifically, it is estimated that by 2070, there will be fewer than two workers for every person over the age of 65. This large disparity would lead to a greatly overburdened social security system within the country, according to the report.
As Greece has a current population of 10.7 million people, it accounts for just 2.4 percent of the citizens of the European Union at the present time. In this context, Greece is not only aging — but shrinking, dangerously.
With fertility rates now below 1.5 births per woman, despite an increase in life expectancy, the Greek population is projected to decline to just 8.5 million within fifty years from now.
The European Commission’s report also predicted that the 10-to 69-year-old age bracket in Greece will shrink by 10 to 15 percent by the year 2070. It is believed that the number of people over the age of 70 will be doubled by then as well.
What is even more worrying regarding Greek demographics is the ratio of pensioners versus those who work, with the ratio between active workers and aging citizens continuing to increase.
From the current situation, in which there are four retired people for every ten citizens of working age, this ratio is expected to increase to seven senior citizens per ten younger workers by the year 2070. This means that there will be fewer workers contributing to a larger pool of pensioners in the future.
While the report also explains that Greece has slowly been recovering after its recent devastating recession, the negative social impacts arising from the economic crisis will unfortunately still be felt for years to come.
More information regarding the findings of the new EU demographics report can be found here.