The Current Demographic Context of Federal Social Programs

by Peter A. Morrison

Download

Download Free Electronic Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.7 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback23 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

This Note reviews ongoing demographic changes and considers their implications for social legislation and public programs. The two areas of consequence highlighted are the altered family circumstances of children and the aging of the American population. Today's families are profoundly different from those of the past. Single women bear children, couples divorce, and proportionally more childhood years are spent in single-parent families. Contemporary preschoolers typically have mothers who are employed outside the home. These changes have transformed the family settings in which children grow up. As the population ages, the number of elderly will increase, and a growing share of the population will be in the oldest age group. The extremely elderly (those 85 and older) now are only 9 percent of all retirement-aged Americans, but that proportion will reach 24 percent midway through the next century. These developments have several broad implications: (1) changes in family structure and labor force participation patterns are steadily narrowing families' capacity to provide care for children and elderly members; (2) population aging portends an increasing need for long-term care services; and (3) in the future, certain needs of both children and the elderly may spill over into the federal "safety net" programs.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.