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Megatrends

image of Megatrends

The current pace of global change has already had a decisive impact on the Arctic. To understand the current and likely future situation in the Arctic it is important to acknowledge the pre-conditions, challenges and tendencies at work here. Some of these developments should be characterised as megatrends because they overarch and impact on everything else. They are trends deemed so powerful that they have the potential to transform society across social categories and at all levels, from individuals and local-level players to global structures, and eventually to change our ways of living and thinking.

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The demographic challenges

Major shifts in the demographic structures of the Arctic are currently taking place and indeed have been underway already for a number of decades. Birth and death rates as well as changes in migration patterns are clearly influencing the development perspectives for many communities. Moreover, the impact of globalisation on everyday life simply adds to the complexity involved in predicting future population trends. The combination of ongoing changes in age group dependencies, which see an ever diminishing number of people in the active workforce, a generally ageing population, and the ever increasing number of qualified persons – especially women – looking for job opportunities in the non-traditional sectors, constitutes a serious problem for many communities. While map 3 highlights the primary challenge – societal ageing – map 4 illustrates the dynamics behind this phenomenon. On the one hand a general pattern of decline in the younger age groups can be discerned while at the same time a marked increase in the older age groups can also be seen.

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