El problema demográfico

BRISBANE – Cuando se piensa en el “problema demográfico” del mundo, se centra la atención en el rápido crecimiento de la población en ciertas partes del mundo en desarrollo, pero a escala mundial la tasa de crecimiento demográfico está bajando, en realidad, y se espera que se estabilice más adelante en este siglo. Aunque no podemos permitirnos el lujo de pasar por alto que, según los cálculos de las Naciones Unidas, a mediados de siglo habrá 2.400 millones más de bocas que alimentar a escala mundial, otro problema demográfico merece atención sería: las grandes bolsas de decadencia demográfica.

En los países desarrollados, no sólo está aumentando el porcentaje de personas de edad avanzada, sino que, además, los nacimientos son demasiado pocos para mantener el tamaño de la población total. Si bien se deben celebrar los aumentos de esperanza de vida a que se debe ese cambio, se deben abordar sus consecuencias problemáticas: las de obligar a un número cada vez menor de personas en edad de trabajar a apoyar a un número cada vez mayor de jubilados.

Entretanto, en los países en desarrollo, está ocurriendo lo contrario: la existencia de demasiados jóvenes que carecen de empleo o, al menos, de un empleo con jornada completa y de calidad. Desde luego, esos países no tardarán demasiado en empezar a afrontar también los problemas del envejecimiento y la disminución de las poblaciones, pero, de momento, tienen numerosos ciudadanos en edad de trabajar y necesitan puestos de trabajo.

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