Share this article Share It was a bit of a wild weekend in the Hawaiian Islands, and in the meantime, the sea is warming and the temperature is rising, too.
It was another record-breaking heat wave that caused record-low sea levels on Maui.
But, in between all the noise, the state of Hawaii is also experiencing a record number of baby boomers who have a chance to contribute to the nation’s future.
“What you’re seeing here in Hawaii is the beginning of the end of the baby boom,” said Dr Mark Caughey, a gerontologist at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.
“The trend for our population is going to accelerate.
If we continue this pace we’re going to reach a point where there’s not enough people to support our economy.”
That’s because the baby-boom generation is a big part of the future of the country, especially if the economy continues to grow.
“This baby boom is not a sustainable population,” Dr Caughew said.
“It’s not sustainable if we continue on this trajectory of population growth.”
And that’s why he’s predicting the population of the Hawaiian islands to peak at about 4.2 million by 2035.
That’s just a drop in the bucket compared to Australia’s population, which is now almost 7.6 million.
“If you look at the total population, it’s over 7.8 million,” Dr. Caughews said.
“So if we can stabilize the population at 4.3 million, we’ll be able to support a $15 billion economy and we’ll have a net increase in economic output over the next 15 years.”
Dr Caugohs said that if you look back through history, it has not been a good time for our economy.
He says we need to do something now.
Dr Caughhew is the founder of the Population Research Institute, a research group at the US National Institute on Aging.
“I think we need a shift in our economy to start to sustainably produce more income and that is when you have more jobs, more people and more people with the skills,” he said.
The institute is working on a report that predicts the population growth rate will increase to 7.9 per cent by 2040.
That would mean more people would be working, but not necessarily more jobs.
Dr Coughohs says we should start thinking about how to make sure we’re keeping people employed.
“We need to get to that point where we can sustainably support the workforce, not just the baby boomer generation,” he says.
“There is an opportunity to have that population and we need that workforce.”
Dr. Caughohs is hoping the group’s research can help us understand how to address the demographic challenges that are likely to occur.
“One of the biggest challenges for the baby bores is that they have such a large, high degree of mobility,” he explained.
“And the baby is going up and down the coast in the Pacific, so they’re going through different climates.”
Dr Chris Kostopoulos, from the University at Buffalo, is also optimistic about the future.
He says the baby will be a big help in stabilising the population and helping us maintain the economy.
“A baby boomer will contribute in terms of productivity and the ability to absorb population growth,” Dr Kostopas said.