Mapping the World's Youngest and Oldest Countries
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Mapping the World’s Youngest and Oldest Countries

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Mapping the World’s Youngest and Oldest Countries

Country age demographics are determined by two key factors: fertility and mortality.

Throughout history, it was typical to see both birth and death rates at higher levels. But today, in most parts of the world, women are having fewer children, and innovations in healthcare and technology mean we are all living longer. The average person today lives to 72.6 years old, while the rate of births per woman has fallen to 2.5.

These trends have drastically altered the demographics of mature economies, resulting in a much older population. In many developing countries, however, births still outweigh deaths, resulting in populations that skew younger.

This visualization uses data from the World Bank to examine the countries with the highest shares of old and young people.

The Fountain of Youth

By 2030, the United Nations estimates there will be 1.3 billion people on the planet between the ages of 15-24. Proving to be a fountain of youth globally, the continent of Africa boasts the top 10 countries with the largest shares of young people in the world.

Somalia, Zambia, and the DRC are just a few to crack the top 10 list. The youngest country in the world is Niger, where almost 50% of the population is below the age of 15.

Here’s a full list of global countries, sorted by percentage of population under 15 years old:

CountryShare of Population Younger Than 15 (% of total, 2019)
🇳🇪 Niger49.8%
🇲🇱 Mali47.3%
🇹🇩 Chad46.8%
🇦🇴 Angola46.6%
🇺🇬 Uganda46.5%
🇸🇴 Somalia46.4%
🇨🇩 Congo, Dem. Rep.46.0%
🇧🇮 Burundi45.4%
🇧🇫 Burkina Faso44.7%
🇿🇲 Zambia44.5%
🇲🇿 Mozambique44.4%
🇬🇲 The Gambia44.1%
🇹🇿 Tanzania43.8%
🇳🇬 Nigeria43.7%
🇲🇼 Malawi43.5%
🇬🇳 Guinea43.4%
🇸🇳 Senegal42.8%
🇦🇫 Afghanistan42.5%
🇨🇲 Cameroon42.4%
🇧🇯 Benin42.2%
🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau42.2%
🇿🇼 Zimbabwe42.2%
🇸🇹 Sao Tome and Principe42.1%
🇨🇮 Cote d'Ivoire41.7%
🇸🇸 South Sudan41.6%
🇨🇬 Congo41.5%
🇹🇬 Togo41.0%
🇱🇷 Liberia40.8%
🇸🇱 Sierra Leone40.7%
🇲🇬 Madagascar40.4%
🇪🇹 Ethiopia40.3%
🇸🇩 Sudan40.2%
🇸🇧 Solomon Islands40.1%
🇲🇷 Mauritania39.9%
🇷🇼 Rwanda39.8%
🇰🇲 Comoros39.3%
🇰🇪 Kenya39.2%
🇾🇪 Yemen39.2%
🇻🇺 Vanuatu38.7%
🇮🇶 Iraq38.0%
🇼🇸 Samoa37.9%
🇸🇿 Eswatini37.8%
🇬🇭 Ghana37.4%
🇹🇱 Timor-Leste37.3%
🇬🇦 Gabon37.2%
🇹🇯 Tajikistan37.1%
🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea37.0%
🇳🇦 Namibia36.9%
🇰🇮 Kiribati35.8%
🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea35.5%
🇵🇰 Pakistan35.1%
🇹🇴Tonga35.1%
🇬🇹 Guatemala33.9%
🇧🇼 Botswana33.8%
🇪🇬 Egypt33.8%
🇯🇴 Jordan33.6%
🇭🇹 Haiti32.9%
🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan32.5%
🇱🇸 Lesotho32.5%
🇱🇦 Laos32.3%
🇫🇲 Micronesia31.5%
🇭🇳 Honduras31.2%
🇰🇭 Cambodia31.1%
🇸🇾 Syria31.1%
🇲🇳 Mongolia30.8%
🇹🇲 Turkmenistan30.8%
🇧🇴 Bolivia30.6%
🇩🇿 Algeria30.6%
🇵🇭 Philippines30.5%
🇳🇮 Nicaragua29.9%
🇧🇿 Belize29.7%
🇳🇵 Nepal29.6%
🇫🇯 Fiji29.3%
🇩🇯 Djibouti29.2%
🇵🇾 Paraguay29.2%
🇿🇦 South Africa29.0%
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan28.9%
🇺🇿 Uzbekistan28.8%
🇨🇻 Cape Verde28.4%
🇱🇾 Libya28.1%
🇬🇾 Guyana27.9%
🇮🇱 Israel27.9%
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic27.7%
🇪🇨 Ecuador27.7%
🇻🇪 Venezuela27.4%
🇧🇩 Bangladesh27.2%
🇲🇦 Morocco27.0%
🇸🇻 El Salvador26.9%
🇸🇷 Suriname26.9%
🇵🇦 Panama26.8%
🇮🇳 India26.6%
🇮🇩 Indonesia26.2%
🇲🇽 Mexico26.2%
🇲🇲 Myanmar25.9%
🇱🇧 Lebanon25.6%
🇧🇹 Bhutan25.3%
🇵🇪 Peru25.3%
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia24.9%
🇮🇷 Iran24.7%
🇦🇷 Argentina24.6%
🇹🇷 Turkey24.3%
🇹🇳 Tunisia24.2%
🇬🇺 Guam24.1%
🇱🇰 Sri Lanka24.0%
🇬🇩 Grenada23.7%
🇲🇾 Malaysia23.7%
🇸🇨 Seychelles23.7%
🇯🇲 Jamaica23.5%
🇦🇿Azerbaijan23.4%
🇻🇳 Vietnam23.2%
🇧🇳 Brunei 22.6%
🇨🇴 Colombia22.6%
🇵🇫 French Polynesia22.6%
🇳🇨 New Caledonia22.4%
🇴🇲 Oman22.4%
🇻🇨 St. Vincent and the Grenadines22.2%
🇧🇸 Bahamas22.1%
🇦🇬 Antigua and Barbuda22.0%
🇰🇼 Kuwait21.6%
🇮🇪 Ireland21.2%
🇨🇷 Costa Rica21.1%
🇧🇷 Brazil21.0%
🇦🇲 Armenia20.8%
🇺🇾 Uruguay20.5%
🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago20.3%
🇬🇪 Georgia20.0%
🇰🇵 North Korea20.0%
🇲🇻 Maldives19.9%
🇮🇸 Iceland19.6%
🇳🇿 New Zealand19.6%
🇨🇱 Chile19.5%
🇻🇮 U.S. Virgin Islands19.5%
🇦🇺 Australia19.3%
🇧🇭 Bahrain18.7%
🇨🇼 Curacao18.5%
🇺🇸 United States18.5%
🇱🇨 St. Lucia18.2%
🇲🇪 Montenegro18.2%
🇷🇺 Russia18.2%
🇨🇳 China17.8%
🇫🇷 France17.8%
🇬🇧 United Kingdom17.7%
🇦🇼 Aruba17.6%
🇸🇪 Sweden17.6%
🇦🇱 Albania17.4%
🇳🇴 Norway17.4%
🇲🇺 Mauritius17.3%
🇧🇪 Belgium17.1%
🇧🇧 Barbados17.1%
🇧🇾 Belarus17.0%
🇹🇭 Thailand16.8%
🇨🇾 Cyprus16.7%
🇪🇪 Estonia16.5%
🇩🇰 Denmark16.4%
🇲🇰 North Macedonia16.4%
🇱🇻 Latvia16.3%
🇵🇷 Puerto Rico16.3%
🇨🇺 Cuba16.0%
🇫🇮 Finland16.0%
🇲🇩 Moldova15.9%
🇳🇱 Netherlands15.9%
🇺🇦 Ukraine15.9%
🇨🇦 Canada15.8%
🇨🇿 Czech Republic15.7%
🇱🇺 Luxembourg15.7%
🇷🇴 Romania15.6%
🇷🇸 Serbia15.5%
🇸🇰 Slovakia15.5%
🇵🇱 Poland15.2%
Channel Islands15.1%
🇱🇹 Lithuania15.1%
🇸🇮 Slovenia15.1%
🇨🇭 Switzerland14.9%
🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates14.7%
🇧🇬 Bulgaria14.7%
🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina14.7%
🇪🇸 Spain14.6%
🇭🇷 Croatia14.6%
🇦🇹 Austria14.4%
🇭🇺 Hungary14.4%
🇲🇹 Malta14.3%
🇲🇴 Macao SAR, China14.0%
🇬🇷 Greece13.9%
🇩🇪 Germany13.8%
🇶🇦 Qatar13.6%
🇵🇹 Portugal13.3%
🇮🇹 Italy13.2%
🇰🇷 South Korea12.7%
🇯🇵 Japan12.6%
🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR, China12.3%
🇸🇬 Singapore12.3%

Young countries have significant opportunities ahead of them. A younger population means a larger upcoming workforce and more opportunities for innovation and economic growth.

While domestic markets in Africa grow in terms of labor supply, innovation, and potential consumers, there are also challenges that arise in these countries. Corruption, political instability and unemployment, particularly in Africa, are all potential barriers to prosperity for the continent’s Gen Z population.

Populations Skewing Older

The world’s oldest country is Japan, where 28% of the population is older than 65. However, it’s an anomaly—the rest of the oldest countries in the top 10 are all in Europe.

Globally, it’s the 65+ age group that is growing the fastest. According to the same UN estimates, it is predicted that by 2050 that one in six people will be over 65 years old.

Here’s a full list of global countries, sorted by percentage of population over 65 years old:

CountryShare of Population Older Than 65 (% of total, 2019)
🇯🇵 Japan28.0%
🇮🇹 Italy23.0%
🇵🇹 Portugal22.4%
🇫🇮 Finland22.1%
🇬🇷 Greece21.9%
🇩🇪 Germany21.5%
🇧🇬 Bulgaria21.2%
🇭🇷 Croatia20.8%
🇲🇹 Malta20.8%
🇫🇷 France20.3%
🇱🇻 Latvia20.3%
🇸🇪 Sweden20.1%
🇸🇮 Slovenia20.1%
🇱🇹 Lithuania20.1%
🇪🇪 Estonia19.9%
🇩🇰 Denmark19.9%
🇻🇮 U.S. Virgin Islands 19.8%
🇨🇿 Czech Republic19.8%
🇵🇷 Puerto Rico19.6%
🇭🇺 Hungary19.6%
🇪🇸 Spain19.6%
🇳🇱 Netherlands19.6%
🇦🇹 Austria19.0%
🇧🇪 Belgium19.0%
🇨🇭 Switzerland18.8%
🇷🇴 Romania18.7%
🇷🇸 Serbia18.7%
🇬🇧 United Kingdom18.5%
🇵🇱 Poland18.1%
🇨🇦 Canada17.6%
Channel Islands17.6%
🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR, China17.4%
🇳🇴 Norway17.2%
🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina17.2%
🇨🇼 Curaçao17.1%
🇺🇦 Ukraine16.7%
🇧🇧 Barbados16.2%
🇺🇸 United States16.2%
🇸🇰 Slovakia16.1%
🇳🇿 New Zealand15.9%
🇦🇺 Australia15.9%
🇨🇺 Cuba15.5%
🇲🇪 Montenegro15.3%
🇧🇾 Belarus15.2%
🇮🇸 Iceland15.1%
🇷🇺 Russia15.0%
🇬🇪 Georgia15.0%
🇰🇷 South Korea15.0%
🇺🇾 Uruguay14.9%
🇱🇺 Luxembourg14.2%
🇮🇪 Ireland14.2%
🇦🇱 Albania14.2%
🇲🇰 North Macedonia14.0%
🇦🇼 Aruba14.0%
🇨🇾 Cyprus14.0%
🇹🇭 Thailand12.4%
🇸🇬 Singapore12.3%
🇮🇱 Israel12.2%
🇲🇩 Moldova12.0%
🇲🇺 Mauritius11.9%
🇨🇱 Chile11.8%
🇦🇲 Armenia11.4%
🇨🇳 China11.4%
🇦🇷 Argentina11.2%
🇲🇴 Macao SAR, China11.2%
🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago11.1%
🇱🇰 Sri Lanka10.8%
🇬🇺 Guam10.1%
🇱🇨 St. Lucia10.0%
🇨🇷 Costa Rica9.8%
🇻🇨 St. Vincent and the Grenadines9.7%
🇬🇩 Grenada9.6%
🇳🇨 New Caledonia9.4%
🇰🇵 North Korea9.2%
🇧🇷 Brazil9.2%
🇦🇬 Antigua and Barbuda9.0%
🇯🇲 Jamaica8.9%
🇨🇴 Colombia8.7%
🇹🇷 Turkey8.7%
🇵🇫 French Polynesia8.6%
🇹🇳 Tunisia8.5%
🇸🇻 El Salvador8.4%
🇵🇪 Peru8.3%
🇵🇦 Panama8.3%
🇸🇨 Seychelles7.8%
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan7.6%
🇻🇪 Venezuela7.6%
🇻🇳 Vietnam7.5%
🇧🇸 Bahamas7.4%
🇲🇽 Mexico7.4%
🇪🇨 Ecuador7.3%
🇧🇴 Bolivia7.3%
🇲🇦 Morocco7.3%
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic7.2%
🇱🇧 Lebanon7.2%
🇸🇷 Suriname7.0%
🇲🇾 Malaysia6.9%
🇬🇾 Guyana6.7%
🇵🇾 Paraguay6.6%
🇩🇿 Algeria6.5%
🇦🇿 Azerbaijan6.4%
🇮🇳 India6.3%
🇮🇷 Iran6.3%
🇧🇹 Bhutan6.0%
🇮🇩 Indonesia6.0%
🇲🇲 Myanmar6.0%
🇹🇴 Tonga5.9%
🇳🇵 Nepal5.7%
🇫🇯 Fiji5.6%
🇳🇮 Nicaragua5.4%
🇿🇦 South Africa5.4%
🇵🇭 Philippines5.3%
🇪🇬 Egypt5.2%
🇧🇳 Brunei 5.2%
🇧🇩 Bangladesh5.1%
🇭🇹 Haiti5.0%
🇼🇸 Samoa4.9%
🇬🇹 Guatemala4.9%
🇱🇸 Lesotho4.9%
🇧🇿 Belize4.8%
🇭🇳 Honduras4.8%
🇰🇭 Cambodia4.7%
🇨🇻 Cape Verde4.6%
🇸🇾 Syria4.6%
🇩🇯 Djibouti4.6%
🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan4.6%
🇺🇿 Uzbekistan4.5%
🇹🇲 Turkmenistan4.5%
🇱🇾 Libya4.4%
🇧🇼 Botswana4.3%
🇵🇰 Pakistan4.3%
🇹🇱 Timor-Leste4.2%
🇫🇲 Micronesia4.1%
🇲🇳 Mongolia4.1%
🇱🇦 Laos4.1%
🇰🇮 Kiribati4.0%
🇸🇿 Eswatini4.0%
🇯🇴 Jordan3.8%
🇲🇻 Maldives3.6%
🇸🇧 Solomon Islands3.6%
🇸🇩 Sudan3.6%
🇻🇺 Vanuatu3.6%
🇳🇦 Namibia3.6%
🇬🇦 Gabon3.5%
🇪🇹 Ethiopia3.5%
🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea3.5%
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia3.4%
🇮🇶 Iraq3.3%
🇸🇸 South Sudan3.3%
🇱🇷 Liberia3.2%
🇧🇯 Benin3.2%
🇲🇷 Mauritania3.1%
🇸🇳 Senegal3.0%
🇬🇭 Ghana3.0%
🇹🇯 Tajikistan3.0%
🇰🇲 Comoros3.0%
🇲🇬 Madagascar3.0%
🇷🇼 Rwanda3.0%
🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo3.0%
🇿🇼 Zimbabwe2.9%
🇸🇹 Sao Tome and Principe2.9%
🇸🇱 Sierra Leone2.9%
🇬🇳 Guinea2.9%
🇾🇪 Yemen2.9%
🇸🇴 Somalia2.8%
🇹🇬 Togo2.8%
🇲🇿 Mozambique2.8%
🇨🇮 Cote d'Ivoire2.8%
🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau2.8%
🇨🇫 Central African Republic2.8%
🇰🇼 Kuwait2.7%
🇳🇬 Nigeria2.7%
🇨🇲 Cameroon2.7%
🇨🇬 Congo2.7%
🇲🇼 Malawi2.6%
🇹🇿 Tanzania2.6%
🇦🇫 Afghanistan2.6%
🇳🇪 Niger2.5%
🇬🇲 The Gambia2.5%
🇧🇭 Bahrain2.5%
🇲🇱 Mali2.4%
🇹🇩 Chad2.4%
🇴🇲 Oman2.4%
🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea2.4%
🇰🇪 Kenya2.4%
🇧🇫 Burkina Faso2.4%
🇧🇮 Burundi2.3%
🇦🇴 Angola2.1%
🇿🇲 Zambia2.1%
🇺🇬 Uganda1.9%
🇶🇦 Qatar1.5%
🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates1.1%

Fewer births, and a resulting older population, is a trend attributed to the changing lifestyles of women. For example, Japan’s fertility rate has fallen to less than 1.5 children per woman due to modern access to contraceptives and the prioritization of work over marriage and family life.

However, fewer young people also means a smaller workforce on the horizon and a shrinking domestic market. There is also a rising social cost of caring for the elderly, as longer lifespans have resulted in a higher prevalence of chronic diseases and an increasing inability to care for oneself. This can result in an increased tax burden on the diminishing younger, working population.

Another Perspective on the Data

Looking at the data from the opposite angle also reveals information about our world. Here’s a look at the countries with the lowest proportions of younger or older people.

youngest and oldest countries

Hong Kong and Singapore have some of the lowest fertility rates in the world (1.1), so it’s no surprise to see low numbers of children in their demographic data.

In a country like the United Arab Emirates, the majority of the population is made up of foreign workers, so the number of people in the 65+ age group is extremely low. In the coming decades though, the situation is expected to shift dramatically with one in every five Emiratis residing that age group by 2050.

The Big Picture

While each country has its own unique demographic make up, one thing is clear. As education and wealth levels rise around the world, fertility rates are dropping almost everywhere.

The trend of long life expectancies and fewer births is likely to continue, but young outliers will remain and they present immense economic potential.

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Interest Rate Hikes vs. Inflation Rate, by Country

Inflation rates are reaching multi-decade highs in some countries. How aggressive have central banks been with interest rate hikes?

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Interest Rate Hikes vs. Inflation Rate, by Country

Imagine today’s high inflation like a car speeding down a hill. In order to slow it down, you need to hit the brakes. In this case, the “brakes” are interest rate hikes intended to slow spending. However, some central banks are hitting the brakes faster than others.

This graphic uses data from central banks and government websites to show how policy interest rates and inflation rates have changed since the start of the year. It was inspired by a chart created by Macrobond.

How Do Interest Rate Hikes Combat Inflation?

To understand how interest rates influence inflation, we need to understand how inflation works. Inflation is the result of too much money chasing too few goods. Over the last several months, this has occurred amid a surge in demand and supply chain disruptions worsened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In an effort to combat inflation, central banks will raise their policy rate. This is the rate they charge commercial banks for loans or pay commercial banks for deposits. Commercial banks pass on a portion of these higher rates to their customers, which reduces the purchasing power of businesses and consumers. For example, it becomes more expensive to borrow money for a house or car.

Ultimately, interest rate hikes act to slow spending and encourage saving. This motivates companies to increase prices at a slower rate, or lower prices, to stimulate demand.

Rising Interest Rates and Inflation

With inflation rates hitting multi-decade highs in some countries, many central banks have announced interest rate hikes. Below, we show how the inflation rate and policy interest rate have changed for select countries and regions since January 2022. The jurisdictions are ordered from highest to lowest current inflation rate.

JurisdictionJan 2022 InflationMay 2022 InflationJan 2022 Policy RateJun 2022 Policy Rate
UK5.50%9.10%0.25%1.25%
U.S.7.50%8.60%0.00%-0.25%1.50%-1.75%
Euro Area5.10%8.10%0.00%0.00%
Canada5.10%7.70%0.25%1.50%
Sweden3.90%7.20%0.00%0.25%
New Zealand5.90%6.90%0.75%2.00%
Norway3.20%5.70%0.50%1.25%
Australia3.50%5.10%0.10%0.85%
Switzerland1.60%2.90%-0.75%-0.25%
Japan0.50%2.50%-0.10%-0.10%

The Euro area has 3 policy rates; the data above represents the main refinancing operations rate. Inflation data is as of May 2022 except for New Zealand and Australia, where the latest quarterly data is as of March 2022.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has been the most aggressive with its interest rate hikes. It has raised its policy rate by 1.5% since January, with half of that increase occurring at the June 2022 meeting. Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, said the committee would like to “do a little more front-end loading” to bring policy rates to normal levels. The action comes as the U.S. faces its highest inflation rate in 40 years.

On the other hand, the European Union is experiencing inflation of 8.1% but has not yet raised its policy rate. The European Central Bank has, however, provided clear forward guidance. It intends to raise rates by 0.25% in July, by a possibly larger increment in September, and with gradual but sustained increases thereafter. Clear forward guidance is intended to help people make spending and investment decisions, and avoid surprises that could disrupt markets.

Pacing Interest Rate Hikes

Raising interest rates is a fine balancing act. If central banks raise rates too quickly, it’s like slamming the brakes on that car speeding downhill: the economy could come to a standstill. This occurred in the U.S. in the 1980’s when the Federal Reserve, led by Chair Paul Volcker, raised the policy rate to 20%. The economy went into a recession, though the aggressive monetary policy did eventually tame double digit inflation.

However, if rates are raised too slowly, inflation could gather enough momentum that it becomes difficult to stop. The longer high price increases linger, the more future inflation expectations build. This can result in people buying more in anticipation of prices rising further, perpetuating high demand.

“There’s always a risk of going too far or not going far enough, and it’s going to be a very difficult judgment to make.” — Jerome Powell, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair

It’s worth noting that while central banks can influence demand through policy rates, this is only one side of the equation. Inflation is also being caused by supply chain issues, a problem that is more or less outside of the control of central banks.

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Markets

3 Insights From the FED’s Latest Economic Snapshot

Stay up to date on the U.S. economy with this infographic summarizing the most recent Federal Reserve data released.

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us economic snapshot

3 Insights From the Latest U.S. Economic Data

Each month, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York publishes monthly economic snapshots.

To make this report accessible to a wider audience, we’ve identified the three most important takeaways from the report and compiled them into one infographic.

1. Growth figures in Q2 will make or break a recession

Generally speaking, a recession begins when an economy exhibits two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. Because U.S. GDP shrank by -1.5% in Q1 2022 (January to March), a lot rests on the Q2 figure (April to June) which should be released on July 28th.

Referencing strong business activity and continued growth in consumer spending, economists predict that U.S. GDP will grow by +2.1% in Q2. This would mark a decisive reversal from Q1, and put an end to recessionary fears for the time being.

Unfortunately, inflation is the top financial concern for Americans, and this is dampening consumer confidence. Shown below, the consumer confidence index reflects the public’s short-term outlook for income, business, and labor conditions.

consumer price index 2005 to 2022

Falling consumer confidence suggests that more people will delay big purchases such as cars, major appliances, and vacations.

2. The COVID-era housing boom could be over

Housing markets have been riding high since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this run is likely coming to an end. Here’s a summary of what’s happened since 2020:

  • Lockdowns in early 2020 created lots of pent-up demand for homes
  • Greater household savings and record-low mortgage rates pushed demand even further
  • Supply chain disruptions greatly increased the cost of materials like lumber
  • Construction of new homes couldn’t keep up, and housing supply fell to historic lows

Today, home prices are at record highs and the cost of borrowing is rapidly rising. For evidence, look no further than the 30-year fixed mortgage rate, which has doubled to more than 6% since the beginning of 2022.

Given these developments, the drop in the number of home sales could be a sign that many Americans are being priced out of the market.

3. Don’t expect groceries to become any cheaper

Inflation has been a hot topic this year, especially with gas prices reaching $5 a gallon. But there’s one category of goods that’s perhaps even more alarming: food.

The following table includes food inflation over the past three years, as the percent change over the past 12 months.

DateCPI Food Component (%)
2018-02-011.4%
2019-05-012.0%
2019-06-011.9%
2019-07-011.8%
2019-08-011.7%
2019-09-011.8%
2019-10-012.1%
2019-11-012.0%
2019-12-011.8%
2020-01-011.8%
2020-02-011.8%
2020-03-011.9%
2020-04-013.5%
2020-05-014.0%
2020-06-014.5%
2020-07-014.1%
2020-08-014.1%
2020-09-014.0%
2020-10-013.9%
2020-11-013.7%
2020-12-013.9%
2021-01-013.8%
2021-02-013.6%
2021-03-013.5%
2021-04-012.4%
2021-05-012.1%
2021-06-012.4%
2021-07-013.4%
2021-08-013.7%
2021-09-014.6%
2021-10-015.3%
2021-11-016.1%
2021-12-016.3%
2022-01-017.0%
2022-02-017.9%
2022-03-018.8%
2022-04-019.4%
2022-05-0110.1%

From this data, we can see that food inflation really picked up speed in April 2020, jumping to +3.5% from +1.9% in the previous month. This was due to supply chain disruptions and a sudden rebound in global demand.

Fast forward to today, and food inflation is running rampant at 10.1%. A contributing factor is the impending fertilizer shortage, which stems from the Ukraine war. As it turns out, Russia is not only a massive exporter of oil, but wheat and fertilizer as well.

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