Independence Day: Growing Share of Working Age Population in Pakistan

Dependency ratio, defined as the percentage of children and retirees to the working age population, is rapidly declining in Pakistan (current dependency ratio is 69.03%) and the rest of the developing nations of Asia and Africa. This demographic shift means that the world's richest and most powerful nations with the largest share of working populations will no longer be in Europe and North America by 2050. Among South Asian nations, Bangladesh has already joined the list of top 10 nations in terms of the largest share of the working age population. India and Pakistan are expected to join it by 2050. Increasingly better educated working age population is expected to significantly enhance their productivity and increase their incomes. 

Shift in Share of Working Age Populations. Source: NY Times

The total dependency ratio reported for Pakistan in 2022 is 69.03%, much higher than Bangladesh's 47.09% and India's 47.5%, according to the World Bank.  Dependency ratio for China is 44.96% but it is rapidly increasing.  China's share of the working age population will no longer be in the top 10 by 2050 due to its aging population, according to the UN projections. 
Declining Dependency Ratio in Pakistan. Source: Trading Economics/W...

Global Age Dependency Ratio Map. Source: World Population Review

New York Times' visual journalist Lauren Leatherby recently described this major demographic and economic shift in the following words: "The richest most powerful countries today have long had these really large working-age populations. And economists agree that that’s been a huge, huge advantage economically and geopolitically. And meanwhile, a lot of developing nations have had quite high dependency ratios having a high number of children compared to working-age people. And so, I think we know a lot of these storylines one by one, but putting it all together, it’s just like the world is going to shift really dramatically". 

Current Share of Working Age Populations. Source: NY Times

"And then I think what we see (rapidly aging population) in Japan today is only the tip of the iceberg. A lot of East Asia, China, Europe, South Korea will be much older than Japan is today, in just you know, 20 or 30 years. Some countries will have upwards of 40% of their population that are 65 or older in just two or three decades. And meanwhile, on the other end, you have a lot of these other countries that have long been, you know, hindered economically by their age structures. And suddenly a lot of them will start to enjoy the exact same age structures that Europe and East Asia, the U.S., that a lot of those countries have historically enjoyed", Leatherby added. 
Prijected Share of Working Age Populations in 2050. Source: NY Times

It is based on this demographic shift that Goldman Sachs analysts Kevin Daly and  Tadas Gedminas are projecting Pakistan's economy to grow to become the world's sixth largest by 2075.  In a research paper titled "The Path to 2075", the authors forecast Pakistan's GDP to rise to $12.7 trillion with per capita income of $27,100.  India’s GDP in 2075 is projected at $52.5 trillion and per capita GDP at $31,300.  Bangladesh is projected to be a $6.3 trillion economy with per capita income of $31,000.  By 2075, China will be the top global economy, followed by India 2nd, US 3rd, Indonesia 4th, Nigeria 5th and Pakistan 6th. The forecast is based primarily on changes in the size of working age populations over the next 50 years.  

GDP Ranking Changes Till 2075. Source: Goldman Sachs Investment Res... 

 

Economic Growth Rate Till 2075. Source: Goldman Sachs Investment Re... 

Economic Impact of Slower Population Growth: 

Daly and Gedminas argue that slowing population growth in the developed world is causing their economic growth to decelerate. At the same time, the economies of the developing countries are driven by their rising populations.  Here are four key points made in the report:

 1) Slower global potential growth, led by weaker population growth. 

2) EM convergence remains intact, led by Asia’s powerhouses. Although real GDP growth has slowed in both developed and emerging economies, in relative terms EM growth continues to outstrip DM growth.

3) A decade of US exceptionalism that is unlikely to be repeated. 

4) Less global inequality, more local inequality. 

Goldman Sachs' Revised GDP Projections. Source: The Path to 2075

Demographic Dividend: 

With rapidly aging populations and declining number of working age people in North America, Europe and East Asia, the demand for workers will increasingly be met by major labor exporting nations like Bangladesh, China, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia and Vietnam. Among these nations, Pakistan is the only major labor exporting country where the working age population is still rising faster than the birth rate. 

Pakistan Population Youngest Among Major Asian Nations. Source: Nik...

World Population 2022. Source: Visual Capitalist

World Population 2050. Source: Visual Capitalist

Over a million Pakistani university students are currently enrolled in STEM courses. Over 10 million Pakistanis are currently working/living overseas, according to the Bureau of Emigration. Before the COVID19 pandemic hit in 2020,  more than 600,000 Pakistanis left the country to work overseas in 2019. Nearly 700,000 Pakistanis have already migrated in this calendar year as of October, 2022. The average yearly outflow of Pakistani workers to OECD countries (mainly UK and US) and the Middle East was over half a million in the last decade. 

Consumer Markets in 2030. Source: WEF

World's 7th Largest Consumer Market:

Pakistan's share of the working age population (15-64 years) is growing as the country's birth rate declines, a phenomenon called demographic dividend. With its rising population of this working age group, Pakistan is projected by the World Economic Forum to become the world's 7th largest consumer market by 2030. Nearly 60 million Pakistanis will join the consumer class (consumers spending more than $11 per day) to raise the country's consumer market rank from 15 to 7  by 2030. WEF forecasts the world's top 10 consumer markets of 2030 to be as follows: China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Russia, Brazil, Pakistan, Japan, Egypt and Mexico.  Global investors chasing bigger returns will almost certainly shift more of their attention and money to the biggest movers among the top 10 consumer markets, including Pakistan.  Already, the year 2021 has been a banner year for investments in Pakistani technology startups

Record Remittances From Overseas Pakistanis:
 
Pakistan is already seeing high levels of labor export and record remittances of over $30 billion pouring into the country. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates(UAE) are the top two sources of remittances but the biggest increase (58%) in remittances is seen this year from Pakistanis in the next two sources: the United Kingdom and the United States.
 
Remittances from the European Union (EU) to Pakistan soared 49.7% in FY 21 and 28.3% in FY22, according to the State Bank of Pakistan. With $2.5 billion remittances in the first 9 months (July-March) of the current fiscal year, the EU ($2.5 billion) has now surpassed North America ($2.2 billion) to become the third largest source of inflows to Pakistan after the Middle East and the United Kingdom. Remittances from the US have grown 21%, second fastest after the EU (28.3%) in the first 9  months of the current fiscal year. 
 
Pakistan ranks 6th among the top worker remittance recipient countries in the world.  India and China rank first and second, followed by Mexico 3rd, the Philippines 4th, Egypt 5th and Pakistan 6th.  
 
Pakistan Demographics
About two million Pakistanis are entering the workforce every year. The share of the working age population in Pakistan is increasing while the birth rate is declining. This phenomenon, known as demographic dividend, is coinciding with declines in working age populations in developed countries. It is creating an opportunity for over half a million Pakistani workers to migrate and work overseas, and send home record remittances. 

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Comment by Riaz Haq on August 14, 2023 at 11:50am
  • Decades of China's one-child policy have led to an aging population and lopsided ratio between elderly and youth.
  • The country is on pace to lose nearly half of its current population by 2100, per Terry Group, which says that bodes poorly for economic growth.
  • Chinese government data showed China's population shrank in 2022 for the first time since 1961.
https://www.businessinsider.com/china-economy-aging-population-demo...
 
China's aging population will have a direct impact on its ability to compete with the US and other nations on the world stage, according to a report from consultancy firm Terry Group.

The latest United Nations projections say China will lose nearly 50% of its population by the end of this century. Further, the Terry Group researchers say it's not only overall population decline that poses a threat, but the climbing proportion of elderly people.

In 1990, 5% of Chinese people were 65 or older. Thats nearly tripled to 14% today, and the Terry Group anticipates the cohort making up 30% of the population by 2050.

These skewed proportions are "pushing China's overall dependency burden back up," the authors wrote. "In 1975, there were thirteen times as many children as elderly in China. By 2050, the UN projects that there will be twice as many elderly as children."

https://defence.pk/attachments/1691527311525-png.944626/" alt="1691527311525.png" title="1691527311525.png" width="800" height="699" class="CToWUd a6T"/>


Over several decades, China has undergone a shift from high mortality and high fertility to low mortality and low fertility. This year, China's population shrank for the first time since 1961, Chinese government data illustrate, and Terry Group researchers highlighted that old-age dependency burdens are climbing, which amount to a "demographic gauntlet."

"China's population is not only aging, but is also entering a gathering decline that will be difficult, if not impossible, to reverse," Terry Group researchers noted. "Gone are the days when China's deep reservoir of labor seemed inexhaustible."

According to the consultancy firm, by the next decade, the country will be losing an average of 7 million working-age adults each year, which will accelerate to 12 million a year by the 2050s.

The UN projects China's working-age population to shrink by three-fifths by 2100, which in turn will put pressure on young people and government initiatives to support that cohort.

For comparison, between 1990 and 2010 when China's demographics were favorable, its working-age population grew 1.7% per year on average. Those figures are on pace to soon reverse, and instead the working-age population will contract at an annual rate of 1%.

"All other things being equal, this nearly 3 percentage point reduction in the growth rate in the working-age population will translate into an equivalent reduction in the growth rate in employment and potential GDP," the researchers said.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times reported Sunday that Beijing officials have been warning experts not to talk about the economy in a negative light. Specifically, sources told the FT that they weren't supposed to talk about slumping foreign investment, deflation, and faltering growth.

The crackdown follows months of data that point to a muted post-pandemic rebound in China and no economic recovery in sight.
Comment by Riaz Haq on August 14, 2023 at 5:05pm

Age dependency ratio (% of working-age population) in Pakistan was reported at 69.03 % in 2022, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources. Pakistan - Age dependency ratio (% of working-age population) - actual values, historical data, forecasts and projections were sourced from the World Bank on August of 2023.

https://tradingeconomics.com/pakistan/age-dependency-ratio-percent-...


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Age dependency ratio (% of working-age population) in India was reported at 47.5 % in 2022, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources. India - Age dependency ratio (% of working-age population) - actual values, historical data, forecasts and projections were sourced from the World Bank on August of 2023.

https://tradingeconomics.com/india/age-dependency-ratio-percent-of-...

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Age dependency ratio (% of working-age population) in Bangladesh was reported at 47.09 % in 2022, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources. Bangladesh - Age dependency ratio (% of working-age population) - actual values, historical data, forecasts and projections were sourced from the World Bank on August of 2023.

https://tradingeconomics.com/bangladesh/age-dependency-ratio-percen...

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 4, 2023 at 4:52pm

Pakistan's interim PM says Saudi Arabia to invest $25 bln over next five years


https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/pakistans-interim-pm-say...

By Gibran Naiyyar Peshimam


ISLAMABAD, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia will invest up to $25 billion in Pakistan over the next two to five years in various sectors, Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said on Monday, adding his government would also revive a stalled privatisation process.

The South Asian nation is embarking on a tricky path to economic recovery under a caretaker government after a $3 billion loan programme, approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July, averted a sovereign debt default.

Kakar, speaking to journalists at his official residence, said Saudi Arabia's investment would come in the mining, agriculture and information technology sectors, and was a part of a push to increase foreign direct investment in Pakistan.

There was no immediate response to a Reuters request to the Saudi Arabian government for comment on Kakar's remarks.

If confirmed, a series of investments worth $25 billion would be the biggest ever by the kingdom in Pakistan.

A longtime ally of Riyadh, Pakistan is dealing with a balance of payments crisis and requires billions of dollars in foreign exchange to finance its trade deficit and repay its international debts in the current financial year.

Kakar did not specify projects Riyadh was looking at for investment, but last month Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) said it was open to bringing in Saudi Arabia's wealth fund as one of its partners in Pakistan's Reko Diq gold and copper mine.

Pakistan's untapped mineral deposits are conservatively valued at about $6 trillion, said Kakar, whose government is meant to be an interim set up to oversee national elections scheduled for November but are expected to be delayed by months.

Barrick considers the Reko Diq mine one of the world's largest underdeveloped copper-gold areas and it owns a 50% stake, with the remaining 50% owned by the governments of Pakistan and the province of Balochistan.

Kakar also said his government would push to complete two privatisation deals, probably for state-run power sector entities, in the next six months, and would also look to privatise another government owned enterprise outside the energy sector.

Pakistan's state owned enterprises have long been an area of concern with bleeding financials adding to financial stress. Recently Pakistan added struggling state-run Pakistan International Airlines to the privatisation list again.

The privatisation process has largely stalled in the country with selling of state assets a politically sensitive issue that many elected governments have shied away from.

Reporting by Gibran Peshimam; Additional reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi in Riyadh; Editing by William Maclean

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