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The Great Overtake

The Great Overtake: the UK will soon be the biggest and best in Europe


The medium-term demographic prospects for many EU Member States are bleak. With high pension and other welfare commitments, and significant resistance to political reform, many countries face relative economic decline.

But in The Great Overtake, published by the Centre for Policy Studies on Saturday 11 June, Daniel Mahoney reveals that the UK will emerge relatively unscathed.

  • The OECD forecasts that the UK’s GDP is expected to surpass Germany in the mid 2030s. (According to CPS calculations based on the OECD forecast this will take place on 28 August 2032 at 6.27pm)
     
  • The UK’s population is also now forecast to surpass Germany’s in the mid-2040s, while the UK’s working age population is expected to be higher than Germany’s at an even earlier stage.
     
  • From having four working-age people for every person aged over 65 years today, within a generation the EU will have just two working-age people to support those over 65.
     
  • The UK is projected to have the most sustainable old-age dependency ratio in EU by 2050, using the assumption that net immigration falls by half over the coming decades.
     
  • The UK’s public pension system is judged the most sustainable of any major European economy and the UK also fares well on labour participation rates.

               Image: Creative Commons/Elliott Brown

Daniel Mahoney comments:

“The direction of travel is indisputable. Demographic and economic projections put the UK in a strong position to face upcoming challenges compared to other Member States. 

These trends could lead to distinct interpretations. Is the UK better off unshackling itself from a ‘dying bloc’, or does this provide a unique opportunity to challenge and eventually unseat the current Franco-German leadership of the EU.”