The Economic Perspective: “Demography’s Role in the Economy”

I’m Mary Walden, with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.   Today’s program looks at demography’s role in the economy.  Mike, discussions about the economy usually focus on factors like consumer spending, business production and profits, and financial markets.  Yet there’s another major factor behind economic trends.  What is it?

  • It’s demography
  • Changes in total population, the labor force, and age trends are all significant determinants of economic trends
  • For example, much has been made about slower economic growth in the last decade
  • Economic growth is a factor of growth in the labor force and the productivity of that labor force
  • And one factor we clearly are seeing is a slowdown in the growth of the labor force, due to lower births
  • Lower birth rates are projected to reduce the future college population
  • And the rising elderly population will change buying patterns
  • so need to watch demography in addition to standard economic factors
  • I’m MW

And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics