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An Aging and Increasingly Diverse Population

June 27, 2023 | Posted in: Insights

My March 2023 white paper Population: A Tale of Two Worlds discussed the slow rate of population growth in the U.S. and actual declines in the populations of Japan, parts of Europe, and South Korea. These trends are largely attributable to low fertility rates; the fertility rate is defined as the number of lifetime births per woman. Roughly one-half of the world is characterized by a fertility rate that is insufficient to replace the current population. An important side effect of a low fertility rate is an aging of the population-it is just simple math.

The Census Bureau just announced that the median age in the U.S. reached a record high in 2022 of 38.9 years. By way of comparison, it was 35 in 2000 and 30 in 1980. The trend is even more extreme in Europe and Japan where the median ages are 44 and 48.4 years, respectively.

With regard to diversity, the Asian, Hispanic, and Black populations in the U.S. grew by 2.4%, 1.7%, and .9%, respectively, in 2022. In comparison, the white population grew by .1%.

The potential implications of these trends are somewhat uncertain and too numerous for a blog post, but they include stress on entitlement programs, potential labor shortages, and important political, social, and geographic shifts.