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Speed data: A world going grey

Western societies have long worried about getting old—but, in time, there will be a dearth of workers in their prime across the planet as a whole

By Duncan Weldon   March 2017

The workshop of the world is running out of staff: China’s working-age population is falling

You might have heard about the Chinese birth rate rising as the one-child policy formally ends. The small rise, however, doesn’t dent the big picture—the Chinese are now getting on. That has less to do with any policy than the transformational rise in living standards over the decades. This raises life expectancy, and levels of education which, in turn, encourages proactive family planning. After the end of the ruinous Great Leap Forward in the early 1960s,…

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