fofack12_YOSHIKAZU TSUNO_AFP via Getty Images YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP via Getty Images

The Silver Tsunami

Fertility rates have been declining worldwide, in advanced and emerging economies alike. In addition to straining pension and health-care systems, this secular trend will reduce the working-age population and fuel inflation, in turn lowering economic growth and creating more far-reaching economic problems down the road.

CAIRO – Since 2011, sales of adult diapers in Japan have outpaced those for infants, reflecting a decline in the country’s fertility rate (live births per woman) from 3.66 in 1950 to around 1.5 by the early 1990s. Since then, Japanese fertility has remained stuck far below the “replacement rate” (2.1), amounting to a mere 1.3 in 2021.