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Long Term Economic Forecast (2006-2050)

Demographic Change and the Asian Economy

Long-term Forecast of Global Economy and Population 2006-2050

Research Director:Takao KOMINE
  Senior Research Fellow
Assistant Director:Shigesaburo Kabe (Senior Economist)


This report is our outlook of the world economy up to the 2050, taking world demographics as our basis from which the forecasts were made. The reasons we focused on demographics are twofold.
First is that there is relatively little uncertainty in forecasting the population. Other factors that will affect the world economy in the long-term are, for example, technological advancement, resources and energy circumstances, exchange rates, environmental issues, and then on top of that there will be wars, terrorist activity and political reform. We of course clearly understand the great effects that these factors have on the economy. However, it would be extremely difficult to try to foresee these factors going fifty years into the future.
To illustrate this point, let us take a step fifty years in the past. Who at that time would have been able to foresee the changes that have taken place in the past fifty years: the technological advancement (IT revolution), the change in the energy environment (soaring oil prices), the changes in the world political systems (collapse of the Soviet Union, Germany reunification), and the escalation of environmental issues (global warming).
Of course, forecasting the population is hardly an exact science either. However, the degree of uncertainty, compared to some of the other factors is much smaller. We feel that in order to tackle a forecast of the long-term future, our starting point should at least have some level of certainty.
The other reason is that the demographics of the world will undergo some major changes in the next fifty years. Demographics are an important factor in determining the state of the economy. Yet, if they were to be quite stable over the long-term, then the effects of demographics to the economy would be minimal. As we will show in this report, the demographics of the world (and Asia in particular) will change drastically in the next fifty years, and this will have great repercussions on the economy. As we will see in this outlook, the demographic changes will without question become the most important factor of change in the world and in the Asian economies in the first half of the twenty-first century.


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Research Director:Takao KOMINE/ Assistant Director:Shigesaburo Kabe (Senior Economist)