Americans are one of the least likely to see the increasing number of older people as something to be worried about, or to be concerned with retirement security, according to a new global study. The Pew Research Center has analyzed 21 surveys conducted all over the world, something that is seen as timely as it shows some of the advantages of immigration even as lawmakers in the United States squabble over reforming the nation’s antiquated laws.
The survey found that in countries where the population is ageing more slowly, such as the United States, the people there are less likely to be worried about their future than is the case in places such as East Asia and Europe, which are grappling with increasing pension costs and rapidly shrinking workforces.
The findings show the increasing importance to the economy of overseas residents in the United States. Younger immigrants that come to the country generally start families and find jobs. The changes to the demographics of the world “could alter the distribution of global economic power over the coming decades,” says senior Pew researcher Rakesh Kochhar. “Demographically at least, America is poised to maintain its global status while many European and East Asian nations shrink either in absolute or relative terms. India and several African nations may benefit from the projected demographic trends. Immigration is the main reason why population growth in the US will be much greater than in Europe or East Asia.”
Only 26% of Americans perceive ageing as a big problem, in comparison to 67% in China, 79% in South Korea and 87% in Japan.