Sunday, January 10, 2010

The National Intelligence Council: World Demographics

For those of you who are interested in strategic forecasting, the National Intelligence Council releases the very nicely done "Global Trends 2025" (pdf, 120 pages). The first nineteen pages give the Executive Summary, for those who only have time for the overview.

The following map shows age demographics, one important feature of the Trends report.
1. Large countries losing population, such as Russia or Central Africa, have huge problems with control and domain of their territory. That matters for law and order, including terrorism and international trafficking. Not to mention the possibility of war, or, their paranoia about invasion. It also matters when trying to streamline and fund social services.

2. Countries with aging populations will have less revolutions, less terrorist attacks or violent crime, but also less economic innovation.
3. Countries with aging populations will also need more human services (medicine, pensions, aging care). They might also need immigrants to pick up the slack on manufacturing jobs and business services.

Fascinating, right? I love a good map. The light pink countries--China, India, Brazil--are building economies to reckon with on the world stage. Brazil for instance is the world leader in biofuels.

People in those dark red countries will migrate to dark blue and light blue countries, bringing the capacity for labor or a propensity to violence, depending on who they are, how they've been taught, and whether they like how they're treated. That's a skinny line for us to walk. Looking at it this way depersonalizes immigration somewhat. It becomes something to analyze--to get the proper procedures in place. The right messages. We have to tweak that.

Percentage of Population Under Thirty Years Old, 2005 and 2025
Note: in a recent post, I mentioned information death in the Bush Administration. This is a solid contribution to information from the Bush Administration. Fair is fair.


Anonymous said...

There is a comparison that has been made between the US-UK relationship in the past 3 centuries and the emerging US-China relationship. In other words, as the UK saw it's decline in power on the world stage, it wisely hitched its wagon to the emerging US (despite the bitter history), thereby perserving economic wealth and power. Some have suggested that the US be just as intentional with emerging markets, but especially China. I think maps and information such as you've presented strengthens the argument that we need to re-look at how we view our world.

Keep the info flowing.

Ann T. said...

Dear Warrior Poet,
This is very good information. I wonder, given electronic financial markets, if it will work for the US and China the same way. I do not know the answer, but it certainly bears thinking about.

Ann T.

Anonymous said...

To be clear, I'm not suggesting that I support that notion so much as I am intrigued by the comparison and that influential voices are suggesting such. What I am certain is what you have alluded too... the migration of people, power, and problems is creating a new dynamic.

Ann T. said...

Dear Warrior Poet,
Oh, absolutely no worries. Everyone from the National Enquirer to the National Intelligence Council is hedging on the forecasts.

Some scholars think we had more globalization in the late 1890's than we do now. I am still trying to remember where I put that article.

With the electronic markets, investing has begun to follow a lot of different rules, particularly with the automated buy/sell switches. I don't know if there's any loyalty inherent in that development, which was what I was thinking when I wrote my response.

Your point is well-expressed: the new dynamic. We're looking at history to help us, because we know that whatever we tried in the past might help us craft a better response today.

Thanks for clarification.
Ann T.