Demographic Trends Foreshadow Major Economic and Social Challenges

by Peter A. Morrison

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This research brief describes work documented in A Demographic Perspective on Our Nation's Future (DB-320-WFHF/DLPF/RF).

Excerpt: In A Demographic Perspective on Our Nation's Future, a documented briefing[1] from RAND's Population Matters program, demographer Peter Morrison examines current population trends worldwide and in the United States, discusses implications for the United States, and explores public policy challenges these trends now pose. Morrison concludes that the main challenges are likely to include coping with a reduced workforce and growing elderly population, reducing inequalities and barriers to opportunity, and balancing the competing needs of different generations and ethnic groups. The trends offer opportunities, as well. For example, the emergence of an increasingly prosperous middle class in India and elsewhere could create substantial new markets for U.S. goods and services.

Population Matters is sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research brief series. RAND research briefs present policy-oriented summaries of individual published, peer-reviewed documents or of a body of published work.

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