Demographics show the way labor forces develop and place burdens on workers that dramatically affect a country’s quality of life. Using population pyramids, World Policy Journal has highlighted how demographics can govern the challenges facing a country’s workforce.

In Afghanistan and the Congo, poverty, war, and disease kill some 10 percent of children under the age of five, severely limiting workforce development.

Brazil faced similar problems in the 1950s, but increasing political stability and economic growth led to a greater percentage of the population reaching its most productive years.

A developed country such as the United States has a pillar-shaped population pyramid, signifying that birth and mortality rates have stabilized over time. Outside of a visible baby-boom bulge, a steady workforce supports the country’s elderly and children.

With 21 percent of the population over 65, Japan’s aging and shrinking working force...

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