Two key ingredients of growth are increases in the labor force and productivity. If countries can't maintain the size of their labor forces -- say, by persuading older workers to retire later, getting stay-at-home wives to find jobs, or taking in more immigrants -- they must boost productivity to maintain current growth levels. That will be a particular challenge in Europe, where productivity growth has averaged just 1.3% since 1995.The United States is considered to be in relatively healthy shape despite the hand-wringing over Social Security and Medicare. It has a slightly higher fertility rate and an annual intake of 900,000 legal immigrants, sop that its median age will rise just three years, to 39, over the next quarter-century, before the aging of America really starts to accelerate.
Source: " Global Ageing" theMatureMarket.com (February 22, 2005)