Germany and Japan’s Aging Population: Are Robots The Answer?


Its no secret that many developed countries’ populations are on the decline. People in these countries are having fewer and fewer children as the years go on and there is a growing list of factors that people cite as their reasons such as the associated expenses and wanting to focus on careers. Many countries have begun to rely on immigration for population growth, Canada being one of them. There are however two countries in particular that are facing a drastic population decline in the near future which has the potential to alter the global economic powers. Both Germany and Japan are known for their innovative approach to technology and are among the economic leaders of the world.

Their aging populations could spell trouble for this status though. What has enabled these two powerhouses to advance this far is their dedication to production and development. Without a substantial population for labour supporting these tasks, hey won’t be able to keep up the rate that they have been operating at for the decades. Luckily, rather than letting their aging population slow economic growth, both Germany and Japan have turned to the help of robotics to assist in areas that humans once worked.

How Robots Will Save Them

Germany is Europe’s largest economy, and its domestic exports already make up a third of its gross domestic products. This stands less at about 12% in Japan. They were both also early innovators of robotics, finding themselves having worked through a couple generations before most other developed countries had even started researching them. This gives them a significant advantage over other counties in two ways. The first is on the international trade level. Their products are more advanced and therefore more desirable for purchase, creating a market within their countries. The second manner that it helps Japan and Germany is on the domestic level. Their automotive technology and robotics machinery will inevitably take over the labour-based jobs that once would have been completed by people. They will rely heavily on this technology to keep them in the powerful positions that they currently are in.

The use of automation technology and robotics might even prove to be more efficient than the manual labour system that they rely on now. The argument in favour of automation has always been that it removes the chance of human error while also eliminates the need for rest. These machines can work around the clock, constantly producing without needing to take a break. It is a good thing that both Japan and Germany adopted this technology early and have been able to refine it.

The Top Five

Currently, about 75% of industrial robotics machinery global sales are still conducted in 5 countries. Japan, South Korea, China, the United States and Germany are the leaders of the robotics revolution. The most prevalent kind of robotics is focused in the automotive and electronics areas. It is also worth noting that Japan, South Korea, and China have purchased close to half the world’s industrial robots for the past 4 years. China has been the largest buyer of the 5.

Who It Will Affect

The short answer is that everyone will feel the impact that automation and robotic machinery will have on the market. Emerging market countries, in particular, will feel it the most. This means nations such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, India, and Slovakia could be at risk. All of these countries rely on high-tech manufacturing good exports, which account for over 50% of GDP and nearly a 5th of those goods currently go to Germany. If automation takes over in Germany those good are no longer needed from these other countries, weakening their economy.

So What Does This Mean For You?

If the world’s economic and technological leaders are focusing on the advancement of robotics and automation, it is safe to assume that these phenomena are here to stay. They can also be expected to become more ingrained in everyday life. The big concern for many individuals is what this means for the job market. The truth of the matter is that in-demand positions are definitely shifting. As they always have. It is not a good time to enter the labour sector, rather look into online technical training programs. Robotics technicians are needed to service and fix the robotics machinery and other automotive technology. It is still a burgeoning field, with few skilled professionals properly trained. The key is to adapt to the job market, and robotics will be the way of the future.


  1. Rachel green
    Very interesting and unique topic to discuss. Advancement of robotics has also caused robots to become more universally accepted over other industries from productivity to safety and it also saves time and money.
  2. John Reynolds
    Annie, quite interesting and unique topic, really impressive as well and the way you describe it is awesome. Thanks for sharing.