Die Welt produced a shocking graphic, illustrating the projected population decline in each federal state by 2060. Germany is getting old very fast. Germans aren't producing enough children to replace the current population. Inevitably, this can only mean one thing. There will be far fewer Germans in 50 years.
Of course, immigration can arrest this trend. However, the demographic crash in Germany is so brutal and sudden that the inward flows required to stabilize the German population would be more accurately described as re-population rather than a benign migration.
Germans often have a strange optimism in adversity. According to Die Welt, ageing brings with it opportunities. Demographic change will create at least a million new jobs in the health care sectors; doctors, nurses, especially the geriatric care ones. Yes, I can see that logic. The implication for the German car industry, I would hazard to suggest, is less certain.
Die Welt's optimism has a technlogical dimension. The ageing population will also "accelerate the use of robots to replace human labour." Apparently, Germany is well placed to take advantage of this transformation, given its high tech export orientated industrial sector. The German vision for Europe is one where German designed and built cyber-nurses look after ageing populations across the grey continent. There is nothing like talking up technology to avoid consideration of a deep seated social issue.
However, I have a different question; if the German population is about to start shrinking, it follows that the German economy will also start to slow and possibly decline. So, how will Germany support the Mediterranean basket cases?
If anyone has an answer to that question, please let me know.....don't tell me it will be cyber-nurses....