Unlike the common perception that remained true for decades, Saudi Arabia is now at an
early stage of its demographic transition to an older population and thus has an opportunity to prepare
early for such a shift, according to a new report titled “Saudi Arabia's Changing Age Pyramid: Bracing for
the Demographic Transition” by Saudi management consultants, Strategic Gears.
Through secondary research conducted by Strategic Gears' experts from national and international
databases and by studying the experience of G20 countries (Japan, Italy, Germany and the Republic of
Korea), the report provides an understanding of the demographic changes in Saudi Arabia, highlights the
potential long-term impact an ageing population can have on countries, and discusses the implications
for policy issues in Saudi Arabia's context.
The report highlights the challenges and opportunities that could result from changing demographics –
lower fertility rates, higher life expectancy and a projected increase in the population of those 65 and
older by 2050 (predicted by the UN). The report, however, iterates that the good news for Saudi Arabia
is that the substantial rise in the percentage of people over 65 is still at least 20 years away, providing
policymakers more time to modify their programs and make the necessary adjustments to fit the
country's changing demographics while taking a long view, and approaching with holistic solutions from
Overall, the report highlights the need for comprehensive policy responses to address the problems of
ageing and mitigate any possible negative effects of such a demographic shift. These solutions will touch
on issues like pension, health care, skills, and labour market changes to assure increased employment
across all age groups, especially among older people. Needed interventions will also require significant
time, and resources to study, plan and implement. Furthermore, as time goes on, the urgency of these
necessary interventions will increase, meaning the right time to ''start'' is now.
According to Strategic Gears’ experts, the report provides an initial analysis and a starting point for
further research and policy interventions. The implications highlighted in the report for Saudi Arabia
span multiple dimensions -- the economy, the labour market, health & social care, housing &
infrastructure and the society -- each of which can be examined individually in further depth to draw
more specific and granular conclusions/recommendations/insights.