How much would reduced emigration mitigate ageing in Norway?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Population ageing is a topic of great concern in many countries. To counteract the negative effects of ageing, increased fertility or immigration are often proposed as demographic remedies. Changed emigration is, however, rarely mentioned. We explore whether reduced emigration could mitigate ageing in a country like Norway. Using cohort-component methods, we create hypothetical future demographic scenarios with lower emigration rates, and we present (prospective) old-age dependency ratios, population growth and shares of immigrants. We also estimate how much fertility and immigration would have to change to yield the same effects. In different scenarios, emigration is reduced for the total population and for subgroups, while also taking into account that reduced emigration of natives will entail reduced return migration. Our results show that even a dramatic 50% decrease in annual emigration would mitigate ageing only slightly, by lowering the old-age dependency ratio in 2060 from 0.54 to 0.52. This corresponds to the anti-ageing effect of 15% higher fertility, or one-quarter extra child per woman.