The new death rates that were used for these projections are


where k, which is the same for both sexes and constant over age, is found by a search program to achieve the desired average life expectancy of 84.5 years in 2050.

The SSA projection adds net migrants at each projection step based on a guess about the future trend of migration, legal and illegal combined, and the age and sex distribution of net migrants from recent history. The total number of net migrants in the SSA projections begins at only 35,000 in 2008 based on evidence that the recent economic downturn in the United States has discouraged a great deal of potential immigration and encouraged some emigration. The projected number of net migrants quickly rebounds to 1,250,000 by 2015 but then falls slowly but steadily to 1,025,000 by 2085. While the committee’s projection uses the same age and sex distribution of net migration as in the SSA 2011 Trustees Report from 2008 to 2025, its trajectory for future migration is significantly higher than that of the SSA. As with future mortality, the committee believes that the future trajectory for net migration developed by the TPAM is more reasonable than the one currently used in intermediate SSA projections. Thus the committee adopted the TPAM migration schedule for 2026–2050, which assumes a constant rate of 3.2 net migrants for every 1,000 residents each year after 2025.

Given the rates of fertility, mortality, and net migration described above, the starting Social Security Area population of 2008 is projected forward in single-year steps of age and time for men and women separately using the cohort component method. The projection ends in the year 2100.3 This projection was the baseline scenario of future change. Summary measures for fertility, life expectancy, and net migration appear in Table A-1. For several analyses reported in previous chapters, the rates of fertility, mortality, and net migration were modified to calculate population projections based on alternative scenarios of change. In these cases, the projections were exactly as described above, except for the alternative rates described in the scenario.


3The SSA 2011 Trustees Report only published projection results to year 2085 because it is charged with reporting a 75-year time horizon for Social Security finances. The demographic projections, however, are estimated internally to 2100.

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