Saturday, June 15, 2013


Photograph by Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP via Getty Images
Population in small towns inevitably shrink when young people move to bigger towns to seek employment or further their studies. Today, there is another reason as well - declining birth rate.

It's not hard to think of a scenario in the near future where small towns become villages of the elderly. Schools are forced to close from a lack of pupils and businesses move away to better opportunities elsewhere. 

In many countries today, falling birth rate and longer life expectancy combine to make this a demographic crisis that will affect every aspect of life as we know it.

Take as an example, Namoku, a small town in Japan that is becoming a town of silver-haired residents. Do view the video and ponder on the economic and social impact of a growing elderly population.

What has the government done to prepare for the ageing 'tsunami'? How prepared are young people to cope with the healthcare needs and financial dependency of their aged parents? Will there be enough caregivers and medical professionals to look after the elderly?

Without far-sighted planning, our towns would face the same fate as Namoku.

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