Greece is not the place to be right now.

Its citizens are capped out at $67 a day on the ATM. Its pensioners are pinching pennies. Its doctors are leaving in droves. Its long-term demographics are deplorable, making the chances for recovery more and more abysmal. It’s a nightmare!

I’ve already explained that large-scale debt deleveraging will be one of the triggers that sends the global economy back into crisis. Now that Greece has defaulted on its $1.7 billion IMF payment, they’re looking more and more like the beginning of the end.

If Greece kicks the bucket, it could spill over to the other weak euro zone members — namely, Portugal, Italy, and Spain. Lance explained yesterday that investors who are fearing the worst from Greece dropped out of not only Greece debt but those other lower quality bonds as well.

With so many developed countries already sitting on the brink, and with the worst yet to come, it’s important to consider which countries will be hit the hardest… and which will fare the best going into the next recovery.

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The truth is that, with the lower birth trends that come from increasing urbanization, wealth, and education, almost all developed countries have sideways (at best) to falling demographic trends for decades to come.

But there are a few exceptions…

And they are, in order: 1) Australia… 2) Israel… 3) Switzerland… 4) Norway… 5) Sweden… and 6) New Zealand.

In these countries, the millennials or “Echo Boomers” will ultimately bring them to new heights.

They’re the few countries that, unlike the U.S., saw a larger generation following their baby boom. These demographics are partially due to higher birth rates but mostly because of strong immigration policies.

When you consider how the stronger demographics in a country like Australia translates into more spending, you understand why they’re at the top! Here’s a look at their spending wave from the middle of last century to the end of this one:

Australia Spending Wave and Demographic Trends 1950 to 2100

It’s been flat from 2010 to 2015, but after this, it’s the only developed country with slightly positive trends into 2018.

But in the first stage of the next global boom, from 2023 to 2036, Australia will have the strongest surge of any developed country. It’ll have a minor downtrend into 2045, but then another boom later on in the century, around 2065 to 2070.

Right now, Australia has the highest immigration per capita of any major, wealthy, developed country. It’s greater than even Canada or the U.S., which are immigration magnets. And it could continue to enjoy good immigration levels at times, even in the coming depression, as the wealthy flee countries such as China.

The bottom line is that Australia simply has the best demographic trends of any wealthy, developed country. While the bubbles in China, commodities, and their own real estate will hurt them especially in the next global financial crisis, there isn’t a country with lower debt, or one better positioned for the next boom.

The other five have similar patterns. They’ll see (or are already seeing) demographic downturns into the middle or end of next decade. After that, they’ll enjoy a surge going into 2040.

Unfortunately, in the grand scheme of things, those six are only smaller countries.

Australia only has a population of 23 million people. Sweden has even fewer at 9.5 million. And the others even less: Israel at 8.3 million, Switzerland at 8.1 million, Norway at 5 million, and New Zealand the lowest at 4.5 million.

Combined, these countries contain less than a sixth of the U.S. population.

The greatest demographic growth of all will come out of the emerging world, between 2023 and 2070. Those are the countries that will experience a boom due to greater urbanization and a growing middle-class consumer population (though they won’t become as affluent as their developed-world counterparts).

That’s when we could see the greatest commodity boom and bubble in history, as emerging countries dominate growth. And Australia, with its strong commodity exports, is perfectly set to ride the wave.

Harry Dent
Harry Dent
Founder, Dent Research

Follow me on Twitter @harrydentjr

Harry Dent
Harry S. Dent Jr. studied economics in college in the ’70s, but found it vague and inconclusive. He became so disillusioned by the state of his chosen profession that he turned his back on it. Instead, he threw himself into the burgeoning new science of finance where identifying and studying demographic, technological, consumer and many, many other trends empowered him to forecast economic changes. Since then, he’s spoken to executives, financial advisors and investors around the world. He’s appeared on “Good Morning America,” PBS, CNBC and CNN/Fox News. He’s been featured in Barron’s, Investor’s Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Fortune, Success, U.S. News and World Report, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, American Demographics and Omni. He is a regular guest on Fox Business’s “America’s Nightly Scorecard.” In his latest book, Zero Hour: Turn the Greatest Political and Financial Upheaval in Modern History to Your Advantage, Harry Dent reveals why the greatest social, economic, and political upheaval since the American Revolution is on our doorstep. Discover how its combined effects could cause stocks to crash as much as 80% beginning just weeks from now…crippling your wealth now and for the rest of your life. Harry arms you with the tools you need to financially prepare and survive as the world we know is turned upside down! Today, he uses the research he developed from years of hands-on business experience to offer readers a positive, easy-to-understand view of the economic future by heading up Dent Research, in his flagship newsletter, Boom & Bust.