Our demographic destiny: "We must be opportunistic about it, not fatalistic"

We in The Big Middle years could easily drown in the ocean of information and advice sloshing around about how we should be – how we should reflect, recalibrate, repackage ourselves so we can not only optimise but justify our continued existence in the new age of longevity.

What kills me is much of this advice – well-intentioned and variably valuable – rests on individual actions – what you must do to stay engaged, lit up with renewed purpose and zest for a longer, fully-examined life of quality and ongoing contribution to the greater good.

Global context is missing. There’s scant attention to the big picture, the macro view of the demographic upheaval that – out of our personal control – is changing our world order.

In 2021, China had its first population contraction last year since the Great Famine of 1959. And the US had its lowest birth rate on record. Japan’s population has been ageing out at an annual rate of 500,000. Cuba will join 34 other “Super Ager” economies by 2030

Bradley Schurman is a demographic futurist with an impressive record of achievement in sussing out megatrends.

His new book is The Super Age: Decoding our Demographic Destiny. We get into all of it here and then some – population ageing, collapsing birth rates, the folly of our artificial, post-war creation of a retirement class. It was then that older workers became a line on the bottom of corporate balance sheets, ripe for erasure.

The opportunities of our unstoppable demographic transition are many but we’ve got to embrace them as a global collective, not recycle the gloom and doom narrative of social burden and resource wars.

Enjoy this fascinating look at the shifting demographic landscape, one of the most pressing issues of our time.


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