Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sokojikara and the Demographic Dividend

Yes, I'm still quoting Joel Kotkin and his book, The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050.  Page 211 this time.

". . .But the unremittingly bleak vision of America's long-term future underestimates the nation's sokojikara, the self-renewing power generated by its unique combination of high fertility, great diversity, and enormous physical assets."

Kotkin cities predictions that China's population will begin to decline as early as 2035.  Yes, decline.

At the same time, the U.S. is predicted to grow in population.  He cities a 2008 stat that showed the U.S. birthrate at its highest level in 45 years.  The infants of 2008 are the workforce of 2035.

He calls this the "demographic dividend" of having a "relatively young working-age population" key to our potential for economic growth.

The challenge is for our country to be prepared to benefit from our sokojikara and spending that demographic dividend to grow our economic capacity too.

This is an economic development challenge for the future.  Let's get ready by embracing manufacturing, investing in skills training, and building new infrastructure.

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