Countries in Asia which have industrialized are often described as "flying geese," taking off around the region like the birds -- in waves. It started in Japan, with its average growth of 10% between the mid-1950s and early 1970s, before spreading to the Four Dragons -- Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. The South East Asian countries followed, then China -- last and certainly not least.
Such economic success, however, has carried with it intractable demographic challenges -- a low birthrate and rapid aging. The cost of raising children grew, medical services improved and social security provided a safety net, leading people to want fewer offspring. Again, Japan has led the way -- and there are lessons here for the rest of the geese.