Since the economic crisis started, economists always bring up Japan. It's relevant because the country suffered similar economic calamities in the '90s that U.S. is suffering now. Japan's recovery was slow and protracted.
The Economist is taking a special look at Japan this week. The magazine puts forward that one of the big economic hurdles Japan faces is an aging population. They offer this graph, which shows the dramatic population shift: It shows it in the '50s when Japan's GDP was growing at a miraculous pace, to what is forecast in 2055, when, the magazine argues, the country could be facing some tough times if it doesn't find a way to increase the production it gets from its population: