Albania reaches the rich countries for the aging of the population
Emigration and declining births have aged the populations of transition countries so quickly, making it even more difficult for them to adapt to the new demographic conditions.
The World Bank in a recent publication on immigration issues pointed out that Albania, unlike other countries in transition, has reached the developed countries for the aging of the population.
As can be seen from the graph below, Albania has the same dependence on the elderly as developed countries and the highest among developing countries affected by immigration.
Dependency on the elderly (population +65 years old relative to the working-age population) is the same as in most high-income countries. Elderly dependency is lowest in middle-income developing countries, such as Russia, Thailand, Moldova, China, and the average of upper-middle-income countries.
The World Bank points out that the percentage of the elderly depending on the working-age population in Albania is much higher than in countries with the same income category. In the group of upper-middle-income countries, this indicator is 8 percent, while in Albania it is 16%, just like in high-income countries that have been suffering for decades from the aging of the population.
The Bank analyzed that the high emigration and the strong decline in births are rapidly aging the countries with the highest middle income. But emigration, apart from its positive contribution to remittances, deepens social wounds.
Immigrant parents create a series of social problems related to families and children left in the country of origin. The bank pointed out that in Albania there is a greater dropout rate among children of immigrant parents, who are also in a more difficult psychological state than other children.
But on the other hand, immigration has helped to reduce poverty in Albania. In Albania, remittances are almost twice the per capita income of households in the bottom 30 percent of consumption.
Households receiving remittances increase their spending, which boosts local economic activity and income for other households in the community. Remittance spending creates jobs in non-tradable sectors such as construction.
In Albania, international migrants tend to invest in businesses and housing in the capital, Tirana, rather than their villages of origin, boosting the job market in urban areas. But with the concentration of investments in Tirana, they further encourage the reduction of the population of other cities towards the capital, the Bank analyzed.