At TEDx ManchesterVillage, one of the talks was about the how the population in Vermont was flipping to over 50. The 20-39 year olds were leaving Vermont. The economy cannot sustain a drain of young workers for retirees. Many states - like Florida and Arizona - have this problem.
It's about jobs. A region needs, not just good paying jobs, but a hive of activity - walk-ability, arts, food, coffee, events, and density. The hive provides workers with employment opportunity as well as networking.
This morning Stratfor wrote a missive about China experiencing a population shift as well.
"Chinese society is on the verge of a structural transformation even more profound than the long and painful project of economic rebalancing, which the Communist Party is anxiously beginning to undertake. China's population is aging more rapidly than it is getting rich, giving rise to a great demographic imbalance with important implications for the Party's efforts to transform the Chinese economy and preserve its own power in the coming decade."
In China, "The Ministry of Education reported Aug. 21 that more than 13,600 primary schools closed nationwide in 2012... between 2002 and 2012, the number of students enrolled in primary schools dropped by nearly 20 percent."
It's seems that as we live longer, have busier lives, less economic fortune, and less children, the economic problem will grow globally.
Think about this: retirees pull money out of the stock market, not put it in. What will that do to the market over the next 10 years?
There have been discussions around, Can this planet sustain 7.1 billion people? Not just feeding them, but providing water and other finite natural resources. The ancillary to that discussion is that there aren't enough good jobs available. We have automated so many jobs that we have obsoleted people. Sure, some of it is a skills problem. Some of it is a geography problem. Some of it is that there just isn't enough good jobs to go around.
So if you have the skills, you go to where the hub of that skill is located to work and live. This means that states and cities without good jobs and a sustainable economic fabric will go bankrupt. (See Detroit, NY, and CA.)
It's a global problem. Who will solve it first?