How Europe is getting younger with the influx of refugees
More than one out of five people in Germany are 65 or older, while 81 percent of asylum seekers in Europe are 34 or under. (AFP/File)
The influx of refugees is drastically changing Europe's population. And while some European countries are still resistant to taking in refugees, a new study says there may be more benefits than they may think.
Research from the UN shows that in the past few decades, Europe's population has been getting older. In fact EU countries, including Germany, have some of the largest percentage of elderly people in the world.
But that's in the process of changing as more asylum seekers flee their home countries to seek refuge. Germany has the largest number of applicants seeking asylum, and it's also a country with one of the oldest populations; more than 21 percent of its residents are 65 or older.
And the migrants moving to Europe? According to the Pew Research Center, a whopping 81.4 percent of asylum seekers are 34 or younger. Nearly one out of five of them fall between ages zero and 13. As you can see above, that's largely thanks to Syria.
If European countries aren't concerned about the aging population, they should be. The fastest aging country, Japan, is a nation overwhelmed by the elderly — a shortage of youth brings a slew of economic problems, from skyrocketing social security costs to the shrinking workforce.
EU countries may still be fretting about the short-term costs to host refugees. But if they're looking ahead, they may want to make the investment.
By Hayat Norimine
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