A World Bank scenario on the projections of Albania’s population over the next three decades shows that the country is aging in an unnatural way.
The population over 60 is expected to grow very rapidly reaching 45% of the working age population, 15-65.
What has happened to developed countries in Europe for decades is now happening in Albania within a year. In 2018, the youth dependency ratio (the ratio of 0-14 years old to 15-64 years old) decreased compared to 2017, from 26.0% to 25.4%, while old people (ratio of 65+ to 15-64 years old) increased from 19.4% to 20.1% over the same period.
The World Bank predicts that by 2050, pensioners will be half of the working age population. But since not all working-age population works, most likely the number of retirees will approach the number of working people. This demographic transition to which the country has stepped into raises difficulties for the pension scheme in a near future.
World Bank projections include developments since 1967 and forecasts to 2050. The ratio of elderly dependence in the 1970s was only 8% and remained at these levels until the 1990s. But with the change of the communist regime, the population of the country became involved in the transition, with numerous population movements in and out of the country and, above all, decreasing birth rates. The dependency ratio for older ages reached over 20% last year, up more than projected.
In 2011, when the last censuses took place, youth dependency on the working age population was 30% and for the elderly 17%. The percentage of children will decrease further (to 17% in 2020, half of the 1989 percentage) and that of the elderly will triple to 15% compared to 1989.
The practices of other countries that have undergone similar population transitions have proven that consumption is driven by younger ages. At the time of the “babyboomers” after World War II, US $ 400 billion was spent on children 0-14 years old than other age groups. Population change in favor of old age is not good news for technology companies that have young people as vanguard consumers.