America’s Biggest Economic Challenge May Be Demographic Decline

America’s Biggest Economic Challenge May Be Demographic Decline

The steepest challenge facing the US economy likely involves demographics. A new study by the DC-based Economic Innovation Group and Moody’s Analytics found that over the past decade, 80 percent of counties in the US experienced a decline in residents in the all-important 25 to 54-year-old age category. Should the trend continue, two-thirds of American counties will have fewer prime working-age adults in 2037 than they did in 1997, despite overall population growth over that time. A shrinking supply of working-age people can prompt employers to look elsewhere to expand, making it harder for local governments to fund infrastructure and education, and encouraging those remaining younger people to leave in search for opportunity. The authors propose targeted immigration solutions that encourage growth in the working-age population in areas struggling with workforce decline, increasing the tax base and the demand for housing — giving businesses a reason to invest.

 

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