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 13th (it will be out in January 2020), 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.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Reading the Future from Age Pyramids

One of my mantras forever has been that we can read the future from age pyramids built on good cohort component population projections. Pew Research Center has essentially taken over this task from the US Census Bureau and, as Justin Stoler pointed out to me, they have posted an excellent online visualization of the future via age pyramids to accompany a new book they just published on "The Next America."
Demographic transformations are dramas in slow motion. America is in the midst of two right now. Our population is becoming majority non-white at the same time a record share is going gray. Each of these shifts would by itself be the defining demographic story of its era. The fact that both are unfolding simultaneously has generated big generation gaps that will put stress on our politics, families, pocketbooks, entitlement programs and social cohesion.
The Pew Research Center tracks these transformations with public opinion surveys and demographic and economic analyses. Our new book, The Next America, draws on this research to paint a data-rich portrait of the many ways our nation is changing and the challenges we face in the decades ahead.
The age pyramids put a spotlight on the Baby Boomers--the American youth bulge that has been driving the societal bus in many ways for a long time. You have to check it out...

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