Aging Danes hope robots will save their welfare state

Child benefits and an abundance of nurseries have failed to produce a new baby-boom. Importing labor from abroad isn’t an option due to the minority government’s reliance on the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (last year Denmark accepted less than an eighth of the number of refugees who resettled in neighboring Sweden).

Like many other developed countries, Denmark’s population is aging. One obvious solution is to get people to work longer. Successive governments have already canceled early retirement schemes and have increased the minimum pension age (to 68 years by 2030). Further measures may be announced in Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen’s forthcoming 2025 economic plan.

The alternative to cutting costs, of course, is to increase revenue. But Denmark’s not doing too well there either, with faltering productivity leading to an economy that’s now expanding at a slower pace than the euro area’s.