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The Global Demographic Dependency Debacle

Tyler Durden's picture


The long-term importance of the dependency ratio (which at its most base represents the ratio of economically inactive compared to economically active individuals) is at the heart of many of our fiscal problems (and policy decisions). Not only have they and will they become a larger and larger burden on the tax-paying public but as a voting block will be more and more likely to vote the more socialist wealth-transfer-friendly way in any election (just as we see extreme examples in Europe). The following chart provides some significant food for thought along these lines as by 2016, for the first time ever, developed world economies will have a higher dependency ratio than emerging economies and it rises dramatically. How this will affect budget deficits (food stamps) and/or civil unrest is anyone's guess but for sure, it seems given all the bluster, that we are far from prepared for this shift.



Source: BAML


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Mon, 07/02/2012 - 13:47 | Link to Comment mrktwtch2
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dont worry they will invent some spary that will wipe out the seniors..

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 13:48 | Link to Comment WALLST8MY8BALL
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Next thing ya know we get a light on the wrist that turns red when you hit 30.....

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 13:50 | Link to Comment camaro68ss
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Happy dependance day on the 4th Emerika

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:04 | Link to Comment Kitler
Kitler's picture

Yes yes... the economically inactive have brought this nation to the brink of ruin. Fucking lazy children and the elderly... those bastards should just go out and get real good paying economically active and productive jobs like our hard working bankers!

(My apologies, but I just can't stand parasites sucking at the Federal teat.)

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:07 | Link to Comment Sofa King Confused
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Last word is misspelled Tyler please remove the f.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:12 | Link to Comment The Monkey
The Monkey's picture

One of the beneficial byproducts of open market purchases is that they improve the demographics of the host. So, the whole issue should be straightened out via central bank action.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:29 | Link to Comment Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Actually I don't think it bothers the powers too much.

History has been a series of steps of "liberating" slaves (onto larger plantations, now digital plantations are infinite).

The blacks got their liberation in the US when combined harvesters were good and ready to replace them (metaphorically, including general mechanization).

Plus, it's old people, brought up to be sel-fish in these last 50 or so years, will spend any money to cling on to life and semblences of trans-human youth, so they are actually a great demographic to keep alive. They'll even pay Pharma-surgico complex big dollars for the privilage.

No need for young workign hands in a perfect, robot-ized world.

It's the rise of the robots that should be looked at with concern.



Mon, 07/02/2012 - 18:26 | Link to Comment FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture
Just saw this over at Drudge: 8,733,461: Workers on Federal 'Disability' Exceed Population of New York City

Gene pool needs a shock treatment.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:29 | Link to Comment Doña K
Doña K's picture

Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves. "Beverly Hills nannies" reality show starts soon. America will be stuck in the mud forever.

Yes! nanny state will take care of the meek, the weak and the lazy in exchange of their votes and suck the middle class and the rich dry until they run out of other people's money or print it. Even Jesus knew that then when he said that the meek shall be blessed and inherit the earth.

 BTW: Welfare payments, food stamps and other giveaways is printing shadow money.   

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:33 | Link to Comment Oracle of Kypseli
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I think it is time to quit the internets!! Say goodbye to the TV and move to the mountains.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:39 | Link to Comment DoChenRollingBearing
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That's right!  Head for the hills!  I hear Peru is nice!

Good seeing you around Oracle!

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:59 | Link to Comment crawldaddy
crawldaddy's picture

you 're an  idiot, do you get enjoymeny making such embarrassing comments?

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 15:24 | Link to Comment Vince Clortho
Vince Clortho's picture

Let's fix the main problem first.  Get rid of the parsitical Central Bankers.

Do this before you start throwing your children off cliffs and pushing your grandparents in front of trains.

Once that is done, then we can start looking at other problems.

Stay focused

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:28 | Link to Comment takeaction
takeaction's picture

Logans Run Bitches!!! Enter the Carrousel....

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:40 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

That's Logan's Run bitchez!!!

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:54 | Link to Comment Dad Was Right
Dad Was Right's picture

Nice reference - actually it was a colored crystal in your palm. 

Logan's Run - Always liked that movie.

I'm blinking...!

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 13:49 | Link to Comment Its_the_economy...
Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

Keep fit, eat smart, stay productive,  get ready for the long haul.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 13:52 | Link to Comment mrktwtch2
mrktwtch2's picture

been doing that all along..was out to dinner with my lady last night and acros from us was 4 human whales at a talbe..not one person weighed less than 350 lbs..and i tiold her that is why health care costs are skyrocketing..

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 13:53 | Link to Comment Its_the_economy...
Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

Smart. sharp. ready for Action.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:13 | Link to Comment walküre
walküre's picture

No amount of money can fix stupid. Same goes for the opposite of the spectrum, the "super fit" and supposedly healthy crowd. Men and women exercising themselves to the brink of collapse. At least they drop dead instantly with a cardiac arrest before their joints and bones are worn out and need replacing. The fat group however will live longer but only if they can sustain the daily calory intake. Once they are loosing too much weight and start moving around more, they're badly depleted bones and joints will suffer.

I'd say it's a toss-up.

As always, middle of the road is where you want to be.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:21 | Link to Comment Kitler
Kitler's picture

And "middle of the road" is where Americans are.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 13:51 | Link to Comment machineh
machineh's picture

Looks bullish for Soylent Green production!

Aren't you hungry?

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 13:57 | Link to Comment Nonexistent Uni...
Nonexistent Uninvented God's picture

Surely we wouldn't want to discount someone's opinion on how to allocate wealth through taxes just because they're obviously going to vote for more handouts for themselves at the expense of future generations. Nay! We should help them into their own special voting boths just to show them how much we vaule their leech-like tendencies.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 13:56 | Link to Comment GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Demographics matter! Great chart.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:42 | Link to Comment DoChenRollingBearing
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And China has bad demographics...

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 15:15 | Link to Comment Vegamma
Vegamma's picture

You can say that again

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:41 | Link to Comment DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

And China has bad demographics...

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 13:58 | Link to Comment Bob Sacamano
Bob Sacamano's picture

Understand the general trend is likely correct, but the historical DM and projected DM line looks like they are not using the same data set.  You don't see demographic lines change at close to 90 degree angles. 

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:10 | Link to Comment centerline
centerline's picture

Without the underlying data, assumptions, etc. it is hard to make too much of call... but for bigger trends it makes sense.  Shows how in early 90's the ponzi suffered a stroke and officially flatlined around the bubble.  Then in 2010 range officially zombie.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:00 | Link to Comment S474NtheD3v1L
S474NtheD3v1L's picture


Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:57 | Link to Comment crawldaddy
crawldaddy's picture

for pharma,for healthcare, for all sorts of industries it is.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:05 | Link to Comment Bartanist
Bartanist's picture

Yeah, just love charts that use abbreviations with no explanation. So, WTF are DM and EM?

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:09 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Developed markets and emerging markets. What the hell does WTF stand for ? ;->

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:14 | Link to Comment Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture


Deutsche Marks & Euro Marks?

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:18 | Link to Comment CaptainObvious
CaptainObvious's picture

Dependent motherfuckers and employed motherfuckers

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:26 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

all I need to know is that in 2100... I'll be fucked... RIGHT?

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 18:51 | Link to Comment AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture


Because Tyler didn't make it simple enough to understand by highlighting the chart explanation in bold type?  (Which he often does when the charts do not contain clear labels).  


Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:07 | Link to Comment OutLookingIn
OutLookingIn's picture

Funny how the cross coincides with the first wave of baby boomers turning 65?

The elites game plan? Turn one segment of the population against the other.

We are seeing this come true in the treatment of senior citizens.

This segment of the population will stand just so much of this bullshit.

Lets face it. You DO NOT want to piss off a well armed old man, who is suffering the effects of old age, on a reduced pension! He has nothing to lose, and much to gain.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:16 | Link to Comment Pool Shark
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Beware, when the toothless get ruthless...



Mon, 07/02/2012 - 16:03 | Link to Comment machineh
machineh's picture

Hey (hey!), you (you!)

Get offa my lawn!

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 17:14 | Link to Comment Omen IV
Omen IV's picture

nor a well armed cancer patient who has six months left - this game shortly will be totally random - as they attack those who have provided for their own social security insurance premiums for 40 year and try and renege on the contract

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 18:36 | Link to Comment ATM
ATM's picture

It isn't insurance. It's a wealth transfer system from us to the government.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 19:52 | Link to Comment Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

The fuck planet are you living on? The most solid voting block in the country which never fails to vote itself ever larger portions of the public largesse, thereby stealing from the younger but slowly enough that they will likely be dead when the rubes finally see what's happened ... cry me a fucking river grandpa, other people's money has run out, you've blown it ALL on your 5 prescription drugs a day and 10 doctor visits  a month for 15 different diseases, meanwhile you send your grandkids $50 on their birthdays - THANKS FOR ALL THE FREE SHIT THAT KEEPS ME BARELY ALIVE FOR 10 fuckin YEARS LONGER THAN NATURE WOULD HAVE, HOPE YOU LIKE WORKING TIL THE DAY YOU DIE TO PAY IT ALL BACK, SSSSSUCKERS!!!

Greatest transfer of wealth in human history - it's a generational thing, baby.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:07 | Link to Comment rigeltrader
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Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:07 | Link to Comment SmittyinLA
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Politics are going to get very ugly very fast, time to go long on lead. 

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:07 | Link to Comment Cursive
Cursive's picture

Automation.  It's our only hope.  The world is turning Japanese.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 22:20 | Link to Comment spooz
spooz's picture

too bad all the productivity gains from automation will be funnelled up to the 1%, who will sneer at the lazy sheeple who can't find a job that provides a living wage.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:09 | Link to Comment MrBoompi
MrBoompi's picture

Well, there is only possible choice, create as many poor people as possible AND quit providing any assistance whatsoever.  Since when are lives more important than money?



Mon, 07/02/2012 - 16:41 | Link to Comment JohnnyBriefcase
JohnnyBriefcase's picture

On a long enough timeline both are equally worthless.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:10 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

tyler's pablum from socGen earlier fits nicely here, also

Opinion: Funny Money - by Morgan Strong John McCain and I are in agreement, a rare moment of clarity for McCain. McCain, who on occasion demonstrates the integrity he is possessed of, but most often fails to employ, has expressed grave concern over the influx of foreign money into this year’s presidential campaign.

[the fact is that potus and scotus are completely in charge and the checks will be in the mail if you don't vote for mittens]

the international blood-drenched clustefuk formerly known as libya provided theTripoliPost with this lulu too [elections have been postponed till this coming weekend]: 


Protesters Attack, Ransack Benghazi Electoral Committion Offices Armed protesters ransacked the offices of the federal electoral commission in the eastern city of Benghazi Sunday. They were protesting that they want greater independence for Libya's east.
Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:10 | Link to Comment Pool Shark
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True "Democracy:" Two ants and three grasshoppers voting on who gets to do the work...



Mon, 07/02/2012 - 22:18 | Link to Comment spooz
spooz's picture

used to be, back in the 50s, women weren't working and they didn't create a drain on the economy.  this chart doesn't account for that.  in any case, how about five sheeple splitting up the work instead, since there isn't enough of it to go around.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:10 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Agrarian to Industrial to Post-Industrial to Service to Information to Post-Information economies.

Bullish for Matlock and Murder She Wrote re-runs.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:18 | Link to Comment Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture

Don't forget MacGyver...

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:17 | Link to Comment Goatboy
Goatboy's picture

Why not accompany given chart with time chart of human/machine energy spent ratio for productive purposes?

We are all absolutely dependent whether some people here like to admit it or not, always were.

Its a changing paradigm. Most important changes happen in our heads. Jobs per se mean nothing. Jobism is old, withering  paradigm.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:20 | Link to Comment Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



Maybe, but productive vs. unproductive is timeless...



Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:48 | Link to Comment Goatboy
Goatboy's picture

It would be interesting, if we could discern the two in a rigorous, sustainability conscious, scientific way. Contemporary definition (and practice) of productivity has too many similarities with tumour growth. It is already cancerous. We should be thankful to all those lazy human beings, buying us time (through their inactivity) to sober ourselves and grow up.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:28 | Link to Comment Mercury
Mercury's picture

Is that so? long until tax-ism becomes an old, withering  paradigm?

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:19 | Link to Comment AccreditedEYE
AccreditedEYE's picture

Continue QE and off-putting important structural reforms and this gap will continue to grow. It is because we continue to not face/make the tough decisions that this situation continues to devolve.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:22 | Link to Comment Nussi34
Nussi34's picture

Short Euros, long earthquakes!

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:29 | Link to Comment hedgehog9999
hedgehog9999's picture

The Japanese are all well along this chart probably looking like 2020. Work hard bitchez!!!! to support the other 65%  +  you stilll have to pay your growing humongous debt!!!

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:51 | Link to Comment Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

That is when the children will begin to leave, unless they plan a worlwide trap to bind us where we are.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:32 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

before the crisis, this was a constant headline in our newapers.
by 2015, we wouln,d be able to afford pensions anymore because of the greying population which would outstrip the working population.
and now?
not a word....
we had this "Silverfund" that should enable us to pay for it all. they raised taxes to fill up the fund...
and now? 5 years later?
they used the fund to save Dexia Bank....
the bank is still broke. and the silverfund is empty.
bye bye pensions....
now we're near 2013. and who did prepare?
"they'll find a way to fix it!".... yeah....
my money is out of e system now, so whatever fix they'll try,

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:36 | Link to Comment Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

Many of us feel the same. But.... how about our kids?

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 16:21 | Link to Comment magpie
magpie's picture

you should start deploying the concept of 1/3  or 1/4 parenthood or something to get more dependents to work.

Either way the pain, which the chart attempts to hide under the convoluted moniker 'developed world' was reached around 2005 for Germany and for 2012 for the USA...

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:45 | Link to Comment Big Ben
Big Ben's picture

In the 1960's, the US dependency rate was high because of lots of children (the baby boomers). In the 2010's and beyond the US dependency rate will increase because of lots of old people (the boomer-retirees). Children are less of a stress on the economy than the elderly. Children do require food, clothing, and medical care but they usually don't need expensive stuff like heart bypass operations, chemotherapy, hip/knee replacements and long term care. And children don't sell their bonds and other investments.

So the 2010's and beyond will be nothing like the 50's and 60's. Heavy weather ahead!

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:55 | Link to Comment the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

So..... if i am reading this chart right I must impregnate as many women as possable.  One i get one in the oven I move on to the next woman without my wife finding out what I am doing.  Hey this is for the demograhics of the human race you know.   


Or is the heat getting to me.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:56 | Link to Comment crawldaddy
crawldaddy's picture

and those dependents are also causing and creating the demand for jobs and services in the future.  So its not as if its all one way here.  It's complicated.  

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 15:19 | Link to Comment QuickFrozen
QuickFrozen's picture

Chinese Bolivar cannot carry double.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 15:44 | Link to Comment yochananmichael
yochananmichael's picture

Don't you love those food stamp commercials!!!!!!
Productive taxpayers spending money to encourage leeches to suck more blood.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 21:00 | Link to Comment spooz
spooz's picture

Lucky you to have a well paying job with benefits or a trust fund.  Easy to look down at those who aren't as lucky, right?  I suppose since the economy no longer provides such jobs as it has in the past, people will continue to vote for what they believe can keep their heads above water.  But as long as the 1% continue to buy our lawmakers, the lions share of productivity gains from outsourcing, downsizing and automating our workforce will continue to flow into your trust fund, so no worries.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 16:13 | Link to Comment DutchR
DutchR's picture

Space, the final frontier

Thank you Gene, ius.



Earth, closed vessel, mind unbound.

No worry's.......


Do or die






and do we do



Mon, 07/02/2012 - 17:20 | Link to Comment AchtungAffen
AchtungAffen's picture

For a second I thought this dependency thing charted the number of banks whose business is maintained in more than 50% by government "subsidies". You know, like JPM... But no, this was ZH and the devil resides always with the dispossessed.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 17:23 | Link to Comment g speed
g speed's picture

older folks--the bulk of tax base for counties/cities( paid for houses/rental buildings/retail shops)   older folks-- the brains and money behind most of their kids small buisness( the hire kings in commerce)  older folks -- makeup almost total retail left in US equities ( 401K and pension plans)  older folks -- by far the most active parenting group (raising their kids kids)  older folks--- port of last resort for in trouble/in debt/ divorced/middle aged/ over educated/ under achieving/hungrey/homeless/substance abusing/violent/victims(most often refered to by old folks as smart ass kids)  

When the old folks pass you youngsters will have to grow up or die-- you'll probably just die and blame the old folks who aren't around any more. --fuckin punks--

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 17:47 | Link to Comment Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

But, but, but they can just print the money they need and force people to use it. Even if we have to bomb the shit out of your country.

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