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Project: FLAGSHIP [Concluded]

Forward Looking Analysis of Grand Societal Challenges and Innovative Policies

The FLAGSHIP project aims to assess and analyze the state of the art of Forward Looking Analysis (FLA) methodologies, to develop innovative quantitative and qualitative FLA tools, methods and models and to apply and combine these enhanced tools and methods in a coherent framework to support European policies addressing environmental, social, economic, and governance challenges. The project is carried out by a consortium of 16 partners led by the Istituto di Studi per l'Integrazione dei Sistemi (ISIS) in Italy. NIDI is the main responsible partner for the demographic input in the project. Its main tasks are 1) to review past trends in indicators of demographic and socioeconomic change in light of population policies and to identify future challenges focussing on qualitative and quantitative demographic scenarios and projections, and 2) to produce demographic projections for the countries and regions of the European Union by age, sex, educational attainment, health status and degree of urbanization. These tasks are carried out in cooperation with  the Vienna Institute of Demography (OEAW-VID) in Austria.

One of the  main demographic challenges in Europe is declining population growth. While the majority of the countries in the European Union saw their population grow in the past decade, the population of most of the Eastern European countries, Hungary and also Germany already started to decline (blue bars in left graph). The drop was most severe in Bulgaria. Similar patterns were found for changes in the working-age population (blue bars middle graph). According to the latest Eurostat population scenarios (EUROPOP2010) by 2020 in most EU countries the total population is expected to outnumber the current population, but the opposite applies to the working-age population (red bars, left and middle graphs). A larger working-age population is only foreseen for Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. If we look at the share of the working-age population, we see a different picture. While in the past decade these shares were still increasing in almost all countries, in the coming years they will start to decline in all EU countries (right graph). This downward trend is expected to continue until 2060. Decreasing shares of the working age population will negatively impact GDP per capita growth, all other things remaining equal. For several decades therefore, economic growth in the EU will need to come from increasing employment rates and/or increasing productivity (output per worker).

For more information see:

NIDI Research team

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