Authored by Chris Hamilton via Econimica blog,
The floor under the East Asia neighborhood (consisting of China, Japan, South / North Korea, Taiwan, & Mongolia) is about to fall away. These nations (combined) equal slightly more than 20% of the global population and consume 27% of total global energy. From 2000 through 2016, this region (spearheaded by China) represented 48% of the global growth in total energy consumption. So, when I tell you these countries are economically entering long-term domestic declines (or perhaps outright collapses), the impacts will reverberate everywhere.
Why domestic economic decline or collapse? This is simply following a massive population decline which has already taken place (past tense). The chart below details the 44% fall in births since the double peaks seen in East Asia in ’67 and ’89. This is an ongoing birth dearth of over 14 million fewer annually, since 1995. Now this birth dearth will be compounded by the rapidly falling childbearing population of 15 to 39yr/olds, represented by the red line below (I exclude the 40+yr/olds because they simply have so few children as to simply create distraction). By 2035, the East Asia child bearing population will decline by 30% or -202 million (no estimation, this population is already born and will just shift forward). Absent some seismic shift (or turning away from the inflationary urbanization underway?), births will continue to tumble and national populations will ultimately likewise crumble.
Noteworthy above is the low water mark of just 15 million births in 1996…and the muted L shaped aftermath. Those born in 1996 will be 23 years old in 2019, or generally entering adulthood. On an annual basis, this is a relatively sudden 50%+ decline in new adults, new potential employees, new potential parents, new potential consumers entering the economy…and this is just the start of the “new normal”. Every year, from here forward, a 50% decline (relative to just five years ago) in potential demand and potential employees will leave the regions economies reeling. All the economic overcapacity, housing overcapacity, and bad debt will be left “swimming naked” among the ongoing collapsing demand.
The situation, nation by nation, is detailed below…showing both annual births (blue columns) and childbearing populations (maroon line).
Annual Births: 58% decline or -250 thousand births annually from 1980 peak
Child bearing population: -37% or -3.5 million by 2035 from 1995 …read more