– The demographic prognosis for Poland for 2014-2050, presented by GUS at the Government Demographic Council is not a cause for optimism. According to the data the population of Poland in 2050 will be 24 mln. We are already dealing with symptoms of worrying demographic processes which will have an impact on the conditions for business activity in the coming decades – assesses Jacek Brzozowski, expert of employers of Poland.
Polish economy will have to cope not only with a gradual depopulation, but also with the aging of society. These factors mean that every year less and less people enter the labour market and the percentage of elderly people among those active in the job market is growing.
The processes mentioned above will surely create new conditions for human resources management, educating employees or equipping workplaces. We also have to be aware, that as the society continues to age, job elasticity and mobility will decrease – a person aged 25-30 has a completely different view on changing a job or moving to another city than an employee aged 50-60. On the other hand, it is important to remember that this trend will also create new markets for goods and services for elderly people. However, according to GUS, depopulation will occur almost exclusively in metropolitan areas – the population of rural areas in 2050 will be at the current level of 15 mln.
What is surely a cause for concern, is the fact that the biggest decrease will occur in the productive age group. While in 2013 this group numbered 24 mln, in 2050 it will only be 19 mln. The scope of the problem is illustrated by a prognosed decrease form 15 mln to 9 mln in the group aged 18-44. In contrast, the number of Poles in post-productive age will increase from 6.5 mln to 10 mln. This will have an impact a.o. on increasing the age-dependency ratio – from 58 to 78 for an index calculated as a relation between the working and non-working population.
As a consequence, such changes will increase the burdens on the pension system. The healthcare system will also have to face increasingly serious challenges, so we already have to start preparing for the long-term effects of demographic processes currently underway.
Jacek Brzozowski, expert of Employers of Poland