MONTEVIDEO – Uruguay has the largest proportion of people over 60 of any country in Latin America, according to a joint report from the World Bank and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean released this week in Montevideo.
Last year, according to the study, people age 60 and up represented 19 percent of Uruguay’s population, while the country’s birth rate fell below the replacement level in 2004 and has remained there.
“The analysis ... allows us to conclude that the advance of the process of demographic transition will have a negative impact on the possibilities for growth of the Uruguayan economy in relation to what was observed over the past decade,” the report said.
The World Bank’s director for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, Jesko Hentschel, said the study is focused on “the medium and long term.”
“At this time, Uruguay has a very positive population development because there are more people entering the workforce than leaving it. So the demographic bonus is increasing. At the same time, this will end in the next 10 years,” he said.
The report indicates the need for Uruguay to expand its working population, Hentschel said, adding that the South American nation has a rate of female workforce participation “lower than in many developed countries.”
He also cited the importance of improving the school-to-work transition for young people, and of encouraging older workers to remain on the job longer.