Altes Europa, junge Welt

Mit dem 50. Geburtstag der EU erreichen auch viele Europäer die mittleren Lebensjahre. Damit werden sie sich auch des demografischen Wandels und seines Potenzials bewusst, das nächste halbe Jahrhundert in Europa völlig anders verlaufen zu lassen als das erste.

Die ersten 50 Jahre der EU waren durch wachsende Bevölkerungszahlen und einen, im Verhältnis zu Kindern und Alten, hohen Anteil an Menschen im erwerbsfähigen Alter gekennzeichnet. Die Babyboom-Generation der Nachkriegszeit sorgte für eine Zeit anhaltenden Wirtschaftswachstums, die Europas Position in der Welt stärkte und zu dramatischen Verbesserungen der Lebensqualität seiner Bürger führte.

In den nächsten fünf Jahrzehnten werden sich die Babyboomer allerdings in die Rente verabschieden. Dadurch wird der Anteil der erwerbstätigen Bevölkerung schrumpfen, die die Bürde der Gesundheits- und Rentenversorgung für die Alten tragen muss. Um das Jahr 2050 werden 36 % der Europäer 60 Jahre oder älter sein. Trotz höherer Lebenserwartung wird die Gesamtbevölkerung des Kontinents um das Jahr 2020 aufgrund der niedrigen Geburtenraten zu schrumpfen beginnen.

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