This paper was prepared for the Markle Economic Future Initiative.
In a global economy marked by ongoing economic uncertainty and a tepid recovery from recession, there are few hard economic truths to depend on; however, one that remains steadfastly accurate is the adage that demography is destiny. The demographic transitions underway across both developed and developing economies will have profound impacts on the economies of Canada and the United States, as well as their many trading partners. Growing popula- tions of young, middle-class consumers in South Asia and Latin America, and the masses of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that employ them, will increasingly demand cultural, educational and professional services that domestic markets may not yet be able to provide. Conversely, aging demographics across Europe and East Asia will place increasing stress on overburdened health care systems, thereby heightening the need for innovative services and delivery models. Across each of these demographic transitions, the impacts of global economic growth will galvanize demand for environmental and technological services aimed at ameliorating an array of ecological, health and food-related challenges facing humanity.
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