Countries That Are Graying Fastest

Quote of the Day

To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.

— George Orwell


Figure 1: UN Projections on Median Country Ages By 2050.

Figure 1: UN Projections on Median Country
Ages By 2050. (Source)

Aging is something that many US firms are needing to address because of the tidal wave of baby boomer retirements (blog post). As a director in a high-tech firm, I have been working hard to address the need for passing knowledge from workers near retirement age to younger workers (blog post). However, aging is not just a problem for companies as the median age of the world is increasing. I have been reading quite a few articles lately on the effect of aging populations on quite a few developed nations: South Korea, China, Germany, and Italy. These nations are facing the problems associated with aging populations: high medical expenses, providing elder care, paying pensions, etc.

Figure 1 shows data from the UN on how they project how the median ages will change by 2050 for some selected countries. This chart made me curious as to how the median age is changing per year in some countries form which I buy components. I grabbed median age data from the CIA World Factbook for the years from 2004 to 2016 (biannual data), did a least‑squared fit on the data to determine the rate of aging, and filtered the data for the countries in which I was interested.

Figure 2 shows my selection of developed nations ordered by their rates of aging. One country that is is important to the optics business is South Korea, which is the fastest aging developed country in the world. The sparklines show the data for which the slopes were calculated.

Figure 2: Countries on My List Ranked by Rates of Aging.

Figure 2: Countries on My List Ranked by Rates of Aging.

Not all countries are aging. Figure 3 shows the top ten countries in terms of growing younger.

Figure 3: Countries with Declining Median Ages.

Figure 3: Countries with Declining Median Ages.

For those who are interested, my workbook and data files are here. No macros here – just Excel and Power Query.

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