Seniors, minorities to have largest impact on tomorrow's America

April 23, 2008

The demographic patterns of older Americans and certain ethnic groups will have greater effects on the country's socioeconomic outlook than previously thought, according to the latest issue of Public Policy & Aging Report (PPAR). In particular, the Baby Boomer generation and residents of Hispanic and Asian backgrounds will have a noticeable impact as their populations swell.

The entire issue is authored by cutting-edge demographer William H. Frey. He is currently a senior fellow with Metropolitan Studies Program at the Brookings Institution and is a research professor at the University of Michigan and a senior fellow of the Milken Institute in Santa Monica, CA.

His research upends traditional notions of how and where Americans spend their later years. In states where senior populations will grow fastest over the next 35 years, "aging in place" rather than migration will drive this growth. In Georgia, for example, the number of residents age 65+ will increase by more than 40 percent from 2010 to 2020 due to the aging of existing residents, versus less than three percent due to migration.

Frey's examination of minorities finds Hispanics and Asian immigrants having a profound effect on the entire country, especially in certain regions. Until recently, these populations were highly clustered in a few big metropolitan areas. But statistics show that there has been a dispersal of immigrants away from the traditional magnets of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Miami to new destinations in all parts of the country.

Source: The Gerontological Society of America

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