One-in-ten eligible voters in the 2020 electorate will be part of a new generation of Americans – Generation Z. Born after 1996, most members of this generation are not yet old enough to vote, but as the oldest among them turn 23 this year, roughly 24 million will have the opportunity to cast a ballot in November. And their political clout will continue to grow steadily in the coming years, as more and more of them reach voting age. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Understanding global demographic trends is essential for government and business planners, offering insights into resolving numerous challenges. World population growth is slightly ahead of what was projected a few years ago, reports demographer Joseph Chamie. More than half the world lives in urban areas today, and that is expected to rise to 70 percent by 2050. Most population growth will continue in less developing nations while advanced economies experience population declines and greater proportions of elderly citizens due to increased life expectancy and reduced fertility rate. Chamie explains that more than 80 countries, half the world’s population, now post fertility rates below the replacement level. That leaves fewer workers available to support each individual over age 65, compelling governments and individuals to prepare for long retirements. Good planning can also prevent a variety of other hardships including food and water shortages, poverty, environmental degradation and even security crises. In 2011, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pointed to the value of demographics and planning. “We cannot look at one strand in isolation,” he said. “Instead, we must examine how these strands are woven together.” [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The past decade in the United States has seen technological advancements, demographic shifts and major changes in public opinion. Pew Research Center has tracked these developments through surveys, demographic analyses and other research. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
It is estimated that about 30 per cent of the global population is considered to be physically inactive. Such inactivity is of high concern when the physical and mental health benefits of physical activity are well established, and that research shows that regular physical activity is associated with lower onset rates of a range of disease conditions. Research also illuminates the stark fact that physical inactivity is associated with more than 5 million deaths every year. With the global rates of physical activity diminishing, and the associated costs to humankind increasing as a result, the insidious and dangerous nature of such global inactivity is becoming increasingly exposed.
In recognition of this, and in order to explore how these high levels of physical inactivity drive cost in economies, the Vitality Group asked RAND Europe to conduct an economic analysis of the potential economic benefits associated with getting people to be more physically active. Using a multi-country computable general equilibrium (CGE) macroeconomic model, RAND Europe examined the potential global implications of insufficient physical activity and changes of physical activity levels at the population level across different countries. The overarching aim of the study was to explore the main economic costs of physical inactivity and to identify the key benefits to improving activity rates. By presenting this data via the three modelled scenarios, the consequence of higher inactivity compared to improved activity rates may be better understood. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Converting retirement savings balances into a stream of
retirement income is one of the most difficult financial decisions that
households need to make. New financial products, however, offer people
alternative ways to receive retirement income. We propose a default
decumulation solution that could be added to retirement plans to simplify
decumulation choices in much the same way that automatic choices have
simplified enrollment, contribution, and investment allocation decisions for
millions of savers. Our proposal centers on pooled investment accounts known as
managed payout funds that deliver monthly income that is likely, though not
guaranteed, to last a lifetime. Coupled with longevity annuities that begin to
make payments when the owner reaches an advanced age and a separate fund for
emergencies and extraordinary payments, managed payout funds could help protect
retirees from longevity risk without unduly reducing their current living
standards. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Demographics are not destiny, but steady and predictable
changes to the electorate play an important role in defining the landscape of
American politics. Most demographic groups have a political lean, so a group
increasing or decreasing in size over time will tend to benefit one party or
type of politics over another. The most well-known example is the growth of the
nonwhite population in the United States, which—since nonwhites tend to lean
heavily Democratic—is typically viewed as tilting the electoral terrain
somewhat toward the Democrats over time as well as increasing the weight of
nonwhite voters within the Democratic Party over time. But other changes are
important, such as the decline of noncollege educated voters, particularly
whites; the aging of the adult population; and the rise of new generations to
replace older ones.
In this report, the authors will explore the effect of these changes on the demographic composition of the electorate and, especially, on the composition of the two major political parties. Reflecting the latter focus, this analysis will not focus on how many individuals from a given demographic group voted or will likely vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate in a particular election. Rather, it focuses on how many people who voted or are likely to vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate in a particular election belong to a given demographic group. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Governments have organized censuses since ancient times, and
as the world’s population approaches 8 billion, governments have more people to
count and analyze than ever before. Censuses help determine efficient
allocation of government funds and political representation. A low median age
suggests the government should devote more funding to education and an older
median age suggests more resources should go toward elder services. Methods and
access to the data remain controversial, explains demographer Joseph Chamie.
Censuses expose flaws, whether income disparity, gender imbalances or even the
influences of climate change and lack of sustainability. Political parties in
power can manipulate perceptions and results with insertion or deletion of a
single question. “Inaccuracies or outright lies defeat the purpose of the
census and disrupt effective governing and meaningful planning,” he writes. “So
every question should have a legitimate public purpose to promote well-being
and reduce problems.” Chamie outlines how concerns about confidentiality or
diversity can erode accuracy even as globalization of communications and travel
reinforce citizen demands for smooth government operations and services. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Migration across the United States has shifted noticeably since the 2007-2009 Great Recession with many areas hoping to attract members of two huge generations: the young adult millennial generation and the increasingly graying baby boomers. Millennials, a highly educated and diverse generation now squarely in their late 20s and 30s, are forming the backbone of various regions’ emerging labor forces and consumer bases. Baby boomers, now all aged 55 and above, can reinvigorate communities that retain or attract their more affluent members. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The 2018 midterm elections affirmed that the deep geographic divides within the United States are here to stay. As they did in 2016, Americans living in rural areas overwhelmingly backed Republican candidates, fueled in part by the sense that the American economy is leaving them behind. The plight of rural America, and ideas for its economic revival, continues to animate policy discussions, including among Democrats concerned about their ability to appeal to blue-collar voters. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
As people live longer, they spend more time in retirement, straining Social Security’s finances. This brief outlines the implications of three approaches to adjusting Social Security for longer lives: making no adjustment, which has applied over most of Social Security’s history; keeping constant the expected number of retirement years; and keeping constant the relative share of life in retirement. Compared to age 65 retirement in 1940, people under each rule would retire in 2100 at age 65, 79, and 76, respectively. The brief also shows how these calculations can be done under different assumptions. [Note: contains copyrighted material].