THE DEMOGRAPHIC FATE OF intelligent SPECIES: As America grows old, the so-called population pyramid will become iron-shaped

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

As America grows old, the so-called population pyramid will become iron-shaped

A pyramid no more
The U.S. grow old more slowly than other industrialized nations, thanks to immigration and the red states. However, with birthrate slightly below 2.1, it will age anyway. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans aged 65 and above will double by 2050, reaching 83.7 million. 

From Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post: "How America will look in 2060, in 1 amazing GIF"

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The one data point I keep coming back to -- and was reminded of this morning via this Pew greatest hits post on its "Fact Tank" blog -- is how much older the country will be in 2060 as compared 1960. The average life expectancy in 1960 was just under 70 years old. By 2011, it was 79 years old. What that means, assuming life expectancy continues to grow and birth rates continue to decline, is that what has long been an age pyramid -- there are more young people and fewer old ones -- will turn into an age rectangle.
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