Journal article Open Access
Van Der Gaag, Nicole; van der Gaag, N. L.; de Beer, Joop A. A.
In the coming years, the share of the working-age population in the total population will start to decline in all countries of the European Union. All other things remaining equal, this so-called demographic burden will have a downward effect on economic growth. This paper examines whether the Europe 2020 employment targets would be sufficient to compensate for the downward impact of demographic burden and whether the impact of demography on economic growth differs between EU countries and between urban and rural regions. The results show that raising employment rates to the Europe 2020 targets can restore positive opportunities for economic growth, but not in all countries and only to a limited extent. They also show that even though urban and rural regions differ in terms of population growth and growth of the working age population, the prospects for demographic burden are highly similar for both types of regions.