The sad truth is that though we may certainly feel like the island is over-populated, we have burdened ourselves so heavily that we need more people, not less. We either need to massively increase immigration to the island or face the reality that health care will get incredibly more expensive to maintain and the government pension fund will dry up.
Many people really don’t understand the crisis we’re facing regarding population and demographics. Above is a chart built from the Bermuda’s Population Projections 2010-2020 report provided by the statistics department in 2014.
The key takeaway? That red line representing people aged 65+ is growing substantially while the grey line representing young healthy workers is declining.
This is incredibly important because our health insurance costs have for years been buoyed by young healthy expats who largely paid far more into insurance than they withdrew which helped drive down premiums. This is especially important when consider the Standard Health Premium which drives the base of private and government insurance rates.
Also important is the consideration of the Bermuda Government’s Contributory Pension Fund. The more aging seniors we have, the greater the burden on a scheme that as of 2014 only had 43% of the funding required to pay out pensions and contributions not increasing this number. With a lower ratio of workers to pensioners, this will get worse until there are no more pensions.
These are incredibly important points that many people don’t understand when they buy into populist notions that we are “over-populated” and we need to restrict immigration. This is the exact opposite thing we truly need to be doing or we need to be prepared to face the reality that life in Bermuda will get quite a bit more expensive from here on in.