Demographics

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The study of populations and their effects on energy and the environment has become increasingly important to both the private sector and government. RAND demographers—experts in fields such as economics, statistics, mathematics, epidemiology, population and migration, and labor markets—conduct multidisciplinary, policy-relevant research and host annual conferences and demography workshops to help solve real-world problems.

  • COVID-19 survivor Irma Gooden celebrates her 100th birthday in Jackson, Georgia, June 16, 2020, photo by Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM via Reuters

    Commentary

    Humans Are Living Longer, So What Do We Do with All This Extra Time?

    Feb 5, 2021

    Medical and public health improvements over the past century have led to dramatic increases in longevity. New policies may be needed to ensure these extra years become mutually beneficial to all generations.

  • A couple managing their finances using a laptop and calculator, photo by fizkes/Getty Images

    Report

    The Decline of the American Middle Class

    Feb 25, 2021

    Depending on definition, the American middle class has been either receiving less income or shrinking in size since the '70s. The economic effects of the pandemic will likely generate further declines in the middle class and a disproportionate entry into the lower class.

Explore Demographics

  • U.S. President Barack Obama receives a standing ovation at a joint session of Congress in the chamber of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, September 8, 2011

    Commentary

    Is Geographic Clustering Driving Political Polarization?

    The ideological gap separating the Republican and Democratic parties in Congress has grown dramatically wider in recent decades. An analysis of the presidential vote in congressional districts over the last 60 years finds that the degree to which most districts are different from the “average” district has grown, supporting the theory that polarization stems from geographic clustering.

    Mar 3, 2015

  • The U.S. Capitol Building

    Report

    Is Geographic Clustering of Voters Driving Rising Polarization in Congress?

    Over the last 40 years, the geographic distribution of the American electorate has become more clustered with respect to party voting, college attainment, median family income, and the marriage rate. This is responsible for an estimated 30 percent of the increase in polarization in the House of Representatives over time.

    Feb 17, 2015

  • Senior man holding child's hand outdoors

    Report

    A Growing and Aging Population: Global Societal Trends to 2030

    An analysis of the changing demographic profile of the world's population and major trends can help the EU anticipate future challenges. These trends relate chiefly to overall population growth, population decline in Europe, and, in the future, in other parts of the world.

    Feb 12, 2015

  • Capsules and pills packed on white background

    Project

    Estimating the Economic Costs of Antimicrobial Resistance

    The costs of failing to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) include a world population by 2050 that will be between 11 million and 444 million lower than it would otherwise be in the absence of AMR, and world GDP losses between $2.1 and $124.5 trillion.

    Dec 11, 2014

  • Report

    Report

    Designing a System for Collecting Policy-Relevant Data for the Kurdistan Region — Iraq: Arabic-language version

    Surveys the availability of reliable policy-relevant data in the Kurdistan Region -- Iraq, identifies the high-priority areas for which more data are required, and develops guidance for a system to collect and disseminate these data on an ongoing basis.

    May 23, 2014

  • Infographic

    Infographic

    Mexicans Work and Work, But Will Retirement Work for Them?

    This Window on the World illustrates the demographic trends that lie ahead for Mexico whose elderly population is projected to increase 370 percent by 2050.

    May 14, 2014

  • Logan Town, Liberia

    Report

    Evaluation of the Population and Poverty Research Initiative (PopPov)

    This report evaluates the Population and Poverty Research Initiative (PopPov) and its progress in building economic demography, particularly policy-relevant research; policymakers’ understanding of issues; and research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa.

    May 5, 2014

  • Binary code and laptops

    Report

    Designing a System for Collecting Policy-Relevant Data for the Kurdistan Region — Iraq

    Surveys the availability of reliable policy-relevant data in the Kurdistan Region -- Iraq, identifies the high-priority areas for which more data are required, and develops guidance for a system to collect and disseminate these data on an ongoing basis.

    Apr 18, 2014

  • Grandpa and grandson playing a chess game

    Journal Article

    Examining Physical Function and Mortality of Aging Taiwanese

    The Survey of Health and Living Status of the Middle-Aged and Elderly in Taiwan measured difficulty with one or more of seven physical functions. A group-based trajectory model identified common trajectories.

    Mar 1, 2014

  • Report

    Report

    Evaluation of the Population and Poverty Research Initiative (PopPov): Executive Summary

    This report evaluates the Population and Poverty Research Initiative (PopPov) and its progress in building economic demography, particularly policy-relevant research; policymakers' understanding of issues; and research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Jan 20, 2014

  • An elderly woman using a walker with a young woman assisting her

    Blog

    RAND Summer Institute July 7–10, 2014

    Applications are being accepted now through March 21 for the 21st annual RAND Summer Institute (RSI), a pair of conferences on aging that will be held next July 7–10 at the RAND Corporation headquarters in Santa Monica.

    Oct 21, 2013

  • Jubilee Family Festival in Hyde Park

    Commentary

    Could Britain See a Baby Boom?

    The royal birth comes at a time when fertility in Britain is increasing after decades of decline. Today, the U.K.'s total fertility rate, a proxy for the average number of children per women in a given year, is the third highest in Europe behind only France and Ireland.

    Jul 31, 2013

  • huge crowd of people

    Report

    How Europe's Changing Population Will Impact Income Inequality

    Groups of the EU population most at risk of poverty that are likely to grow include the elderly, migrants, and single heads of households. Managing the transition to an increasingly aging population while maintaining high welfare standards will depend upon reform of pension and healthcare systems, and labor markets.

    Jul 17, 2013

  • Vasco de Gama Bridge, Lisbon

    Commentary

    The Value of Uncertainty: Assessing Global Societal Trends

    When planning for the future, we should understand that the capacity to predict the future is rather limited and poor. Rather, an ability to anticipate plausible trends and their potential consequences is more realistic, writes Stijn Hoorens.

    May 8, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Comparing Marital Status and Divorce Status in Civilian and Military Populations

    Since military operations began in Afghanistan and Iraq, lengthy deployments have led to concerns about the vulnerability of military marriages.

    Dec 1, 2012

  • A homeless Chinese man with his daughter sleeping on steps

    Commentary

    The Inequality Debate: The United States versus China

    The inequality debate should focus more on the sources and reasons for inequality, and less on how much inequality there is, or how much it has changed, writes Charles Wolf, Jr.

    Jun 4, 2012

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: Vol. 36, No. 1, Spring 2012

    Stories cover Iran's nuclear threat, social security in Mexico, programs for veterans, crime costs, U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, the health insurance mandate, legal defense, marijuana legalization, global education, and Louisiana's coastal planning.

    May 11, 2012

  • Oracle corporate headquarters in Redwood, CA

    Report

    How Americans Will Live and Work in 2020: A Workshop Exploring Key Trends and Philanthropic Responses

    These proceedings summarize the discussion at a July 2011 workshop convened to examine how trends in four areas -- the economy, demographics, the workplace, and lifestyles -- will affect the poor and vulnerable in America in the coming decade.

    Jan 16, 2012

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: Vol. 35, No. 3, Winter 2011-2012

    Stories discuss world demographic trends, Afghan peace prospects, U.S. health care spending, California prisoner reentry, Latin American inequalities, global health, veterans' mental health, highway investments, teacher bonuses, and charter schools.

    Jan 13, 2012

  • A world map formed by standing people, illustration by 300_librarians/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Seven Billion? No Need to Panic

    We cannot wish away serious ecological issues, such as the steady increase in greenhouse gases or the steady decrease in critical resources (e.g., phosphates). But population growth per se need not portend ecological catastrophe, writes Martin Libicki.

    Nov 4, 2011