by sex and single year of age. This population is projected forward each year based on projected rates of fertility, mortality, and net migration. Net migration is immigrants coming into the population minus emigrants leaving the population.

The age-specific fertility rates used are the same as in the intermediate-cost SSA projections, with a minor adjustment for the years 2008 and 2009.2 The age distribution of fertility is based on recent historical trends, while the overall level of fertility is assumed to decline gradually in the near term and remain constant at just below replacement level. Specifically, the observed total fertility rate is 2.09 children per woman in 2008 and is assumed to fall gradually to a constant level of 2.00 children per woman by 2035.

The main adjustment to the SSA projections is that the mortality rates used here are lower than those used in the intermediate-cost SSA projection. As described in Chapter 3, the committee agrees with the Social Security Advisory Board’s Technical Panel on Assumptions and Methods (TPAM) that there will likely be faster future declines in mortality than reflected in the intermediate-cost SSA projections. This conclusion is based on an analysis of potential future trends in smoking and obesity (Technical Panel on Assumptions and Methods, 2011). The SSA projection assumes that average life expectancy by 2050 will be 82.2 years, whereas the committee projection assumes instead an additional 2.3 years of life on average, for a life expectancy of 84.5 years by 2050. This mirrors the TPAM conclusion. The corresponding lower age-specific mortality rates are found by searching for a mortality schedule that is between the SSA intermediate- and high-cost options and implies a life expectancy in 2050 of 84.5 years. The high-cost option assumes lower mortality than the intermediate and thus an average life expectancy of 84.8 years by 2050. The projection used here employs a mortality schedule that is a weighted average of the two SSA options such that the desired life expectancy in 2050 of 84.5 years is achieved.

This average is found by first defining a difference term bx,s for age x and sex s, which is the difference between the death rates mx,s for the high cost and intermediate cost:



are U.S. citizens living abroad, residents of U.S. territories, and noncitizens living abroad who are insured for future Social Security benefits. They usually comprise around 2 percent of the U.S. Census population. In the aggregate, the Census and Social Security Area population age and sex distributions are almost identical.

2Published rates for 2008 were multiplied by 0.99 and for 2009 by 1.01 to match more closely the predicted birth cohorts of the SSA projections and correct for inconsistencies introduced by interpolation to estimate January 1 populations from July 1 population estimates.

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