Population Matters

The social benefits of a falling population

The social benefits of a falling population

A falling population can bring lower housing costs, easier access to services, more green spaces and less crowding

Many commentators bemoan the prospect of a falling population. Yet there are also those who have explored the social benefits of a falling population, with Germany and Japan providing two particularly interesting case studies.

Our new briefing identifies several key social benefits to a falling population: lower housing cost, easier access to services, more green spaces and less crowding. Recent reports have highlighted the lower cost of the German housing market, the easier access to services in Japan and the innovative use of green spaces in German cities such as Leipzig.

In general, the short-term benefits of a falling population include the likelihood of lower housing cost, improved quality of the local environment and a redistribution of resources toward improving public services. Our briefing draws comparisons with the UK, where infrastructure provision has lagged badly behind population growth.

Throughout the world, falling levels of population have led to important social benefits. Lower fertility rates have been closely associated with greater rights and opportunities for women, as they are able to defer childbirth and to increase the spacing of the births of their children. Through assessing relevant commentaries, our briefing concludes that both Germany and Japan will experience many benefits due to their falling populations.

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