This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Disruptive Demographics

The term "disruptive" has come into wide use (and maybe even overuse) in the past few years, but it does apply to the effects of demographic change. I talk about the effects of demographic change all the time, including recently in the context of political demography, but I had not before used the term "disruptive." An article in The Economist's online section from the Economist Intelligence Unit taught me that I need to make it mine. 
Demographic forces are disruption catalysts. Young people’s online habits have transformed advertising and customer feedback models. Older generations’ purchasing decisions are increasingly influenced by their children, quickening the percolation of new technologies. And in some new frontier technologies, like robotics-in-the-home, the ‘silver market’ may be the first adopters.
The story is about marketing (which I discuss in my book), not about politics, but the disruptive force of demography is even more powerful with respect to politics, as Debbie Fugate and I talk about in our book on The Youth Bulge: Challenge or Opportunity. If we were doing that book this year the title would have to be The Demographic Disruptions of Youth Bulges.

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