The socioeconomic profile of a country largely depends on the country’s level of economic growth. Other factors that help in accelerating a country’s economy growth include the existence of advanced technology and good infrastructure (Coppola, 2011). This paper compares and contrasts the demographic characteristics of Germany and Thailand.
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Germany’s population has been recording a declining trend since 2003. Currently, the population stands at 81.7 million. This trend is attributed to the increasing number of deaths compared to the number of new births. According to the Federal Statistic Office, this trend is expected to continue over the coming years. Hence, Germany’s population might reduce to about 65 million by the year 2060.
It is worth to mention that the decline is likely to lead to a subsequent decline of the working population since most of the people who die are in their working ages. Due to the fact that the population is on a downward trend, the age structure is also experiencing major shifts. In the near future, the number of older persons against the total population is expected to rise. Currently, the population of young people who are below 20 years is almost the same with that of the group aged above 65 years. Each of these groups corresponds to approximately 20% of the overall population in Germany (Council of Europe, 2002).
In Germany, the number of women in the working age bracket has continued to decrease over the years. The small percentage of women in employment is attributed to the continuous increase of females and other old workers and a reduction in the number of employment opportunities. The working population in Germany falls between 20 and 64 years and currently stands at 49.8 million.
Out of this number, the number of women is less than 50% of the total employees. This implies that women employment in Germany is a major issue. An appropriate level or rate of women employment can be realized by providing improved and flexible services that can enhance gender equality in all areas. However, it is prudent to note that Germany maintains high standards in education since the rate of attendance is almost 100% while the literacy rate is approximately 99%.
Germany’s gross domestic product is approximately $ 3.5 trillion while the per capita gross domestic product is around $40,631. This high performance is attributed to the fact that Germany has major manufacturing industries involved in the production of both engineering and electrical products for exports. Despite the fact that poverty rates are extremely low, the rate of unemployment in the country stands at 7% (Council of Europe, 2002).
According to Gruescu (2007), population ageing in Germany can be explained from two perspectives. The first reason is based on the fact that Germany has continued to record a very slow rate of birth. In the 1960s, there was a drastic increase in the number of births. However, this trend changed during the mid- 1960s whereby birth rate remained at a lower level of approximately one child per woman. This level is below what is expected since a woman is required to have an average of two children in order to maintain parental generation. The slow birth rate in Germany can also be linked to the high percentage of women who are finding it appropriate to remain childless.
These are mostly women who are highly educated who feel that it is right for them to bear children at a late age. However, it is important to comprehend that the country’s average life expectancy in the last 15 decades has realized a sharp increase with approximately three months each year. The increase in life expectancy is a result of the decline in child mortality. From the current trend, it is expected that life expectancy of males born in the coming years will increase by up to eight years while that of the women will increase by seven years. This is equivalent to 85 and 89 years respectively.
It should be noted that both the physical and mental health of a large number of people in Germany has been recording significant improvements. The healthcare system has also boosted life expectancy of the general population. The high level of migration witnessed in Germany in the past decades reduced the effects associated with population ageing and at the same time caused a delay of the population decline process.
For example, in the year 2010, the number of migrants entering Germany was more than the number of Germans who were leaving the country and this caused a slight increase of population. Increased migration or a rise in the number of births can help to moderate the impact caused by age structure, though it is not possible to completely eliminate the impact. This is because ageing is already incorporated within the current population age structure (Gruescu, 2007).
On the other hand, Thailand enjoys a relatively uniform population density, economic well-being, education, health, religion, and culture. A good number of people in Thailand (approximately 75%) are within the Thai-ethnic groups while Chinese are close to 14%. Other groups form approximately 11% of the total population. It should be understood that Thailand has a large number of registered foreigners who come from Asia, North America, and Europe while others are illegal migrants from neighboring countries such as Cambodia and Burma.
In the year 2008, the number of foreign migrants was around 2 million. Most of them settled in the rural areas in order to engage in farming activities. 69% of the population lives in the urban areas while 31% is within the rural areas. Over the years, rural-urban migration has been on an upward trend whereby many people prefer to relocate to Bangkok city. The country has managed to undertake successful family planning in the sense that the population growth rate in the year 1960s was approximately 3.1%.
This percentage has continued to decrease over the years because of the numerous programs in the country that educate people on the importance of family planning. The existence of a successful health policy provides children with free education for twelve years. In terms of religion, almost 85% of the population belongs to Buddhist religion. Muslims and other religions account for about 10% and 5% respectively (Rahman, 2011).
The country’s working population falls between 15 and 64 years. This accounts for approximately 74% of the entire population. The ratio of males to females is 0.97%, meaning that females outnumber the males. This is one of the reasons why there are several women who work in the shopping centers, markets, and other service institutions. Currently, the rate of population growth in Thailand is almost the same with the growth rate seen in western countries. It is approximately 0.61%. The country enjoys relatively good healthcare system which is reflected on the infant mortality rate that lies slightly below 2%. This is equivalent to 18.23/1000 live births.
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Life expectancy in Thailand is at 71 years for males and at 76 years for females. Thai is the official language while English is the second language. However, many people in Thailand find it very challenging to speak in English because they start learning English after completing high school. Despite such limitations, it is worth to note that the rate of literacy is impressive bearing in mind that people aged 15 years and above can read and write. In relation to the total population, about 93% of the population is literate. The rate of literacy among the males is slightly above that of the females.
From this research, it is evident that families from both countries are significantly affected by illegal migrants. For example, Germany witnessed a very large number of migrants in 2010 that increased the country’s population. Similarly, Thailand has also been affected by increased number of people migrating into the country. In the case of Germany, the migration can be linked to the fact that Germany is highly developed and equipped with advanced technology. On the other hand, migration to Thailand may be as a result of the surrounding countries that are relatively poor.
People from neighboring countries (such as Cambodia) often prefer to relocate to Thailand with the aim of engaging in different activities such as rice farming. The increased migration in the two countries can also be linked to globalization in the sense that people prefer to relocate to countries that are economically viable.
In my view, I suppose that the Millennium Goals Project will go a long way in improving Thailand’s economy. However, Germany may not benefit a lot from this project because the country is already enjoying high level of technological development and stable economic growth.
Rahman, M.A. (2011). Demographics of Thailand.
Coppola, D. P. (2011). Introduction to International Disaster Management. Burlington: Elsevier Science.
Council of Europe (2002). The demographic characteristics of immigrant populations. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publ.
Gruescu, S. (2007). Population ageing and economic growth: Education policy and family policy in a model of endogenous growth. Heidelberg: Physica-Verlag.