The dependency ratio compares the number of children and the elderly with people of working age (those aged 15-64). The higher the dependency ratio, the greater the burden on the workforce. In the world’s biggest economies, America apart, the workforce is set to shrink significantly.
In many developed countries, the dependency ratio rose after the second world war, fell in the late 1960s and 1970s as the boomers entered the workforce, and has recently started rising again. That history makes it possible to analyse how economies performed during periods of both falling and rising ratios. Berenberg based its analysis on ten rich countries: America, Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.