In economics and geography the dependency ratio is an age-population ratio of those typically not in the labor force (the dependent part) and those typically in the labor force (the productive part). It is used to measure the pressure on productive population.
In published international statistics, the dependent part usually includes those under the age of 15 and over the age of 64.The productive part makes up the population in between, ages 15 – 64. It is normally expressed as a percentage:
As the ratio increases there may be an increased burden on the productive part of the population to maintain the upbringing and pensions of the economically dependent. This results in direct impacts on financial expenditures on things like social security, as well as many indirect consequences.
The (total) dependency ratio can be decomposed into the child dependency ratio and the aged dependency ratio:
World Bank 2010 Age dependency ratio by country 
As of 2010 Japan and Europe had high age dependency ratios compared to other parts of the world.ref>http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.DPND.OL/countries?display=map</ref>
The inverse of the dependency ratio, the inverse dependency ratio can be interpreted as how many independent workers have to provide for one dependent person (pension & expenditure on children)
A high dependency ratio can cause serious problems for a country. As the largest proportion of a government's expenditure is on health, social security & education which are most used by old and young population. Also the increasing expenditure on pension becomes a problem too.
Nevertheless, the dependency ratio ignores the fact that the 65+ are not necessarily dependent (an increasing proportion of them is working) and that many of those of 'working age' are actually not working. Alternatives have been developed', such as the 'economic dependency ratio', but they still ignore factors such as increases in productivity and in working hours. Worries about increasing (demographic) dependency ratio should thus be taken with caution. (http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/pubdocs/2012/59/en/2/EF1259EN.pdf)
Migrant Labor Dependency Ratio 
See also 
- Demographic economics
- Economic collapse
- Employment-to-population ratio
- Generational accounting
- Pensions crisis
- Sub-replacement fertility
- Societal collapse
- Association of Public Health Epidemiologists in Ontario
- International Organization for Migration (2008). World Migration 2008: Managing Labour Mobility in the Evolving Global Economy. Hammersmith Press. pp. 440–. ISBN 978-92-9068-405-3. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Old Age dependency Ratios in Europe
- Definition and Forecasts for Dependency Ratios
- The Risk Pool, Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker, 8/23/2006
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