this way, increased diversity poses some new challenges to managers.
Another way in which demographic change can indirectly shape the occupational structure and occupational classification systems and analysis is through demands for products and services. For example, the baby boom generation, both as children and as young parents, contributed to the conditions leading to an expansion and differentiation in child care services. Similarly, the aging of the population is among the forces pressing for the expansion and differentiation of health care specializations, health care delivery systems, and related technologies, including expanded institutional options and home health care. One could also include consumer products available to the elderly, ranging from foodstuffs to prescription drugs to entertainment.
In this section, we present major demographic trends in the U.S. population and the workforce (based on data from the Current Population Surveys and the U.S. Bureau of the Census) and data showing the extent to which demographic changes have occurred both across occupations and within occupations (based on original research). It is the changes within occupations that are likely to provide the greatest challenge for existing occupational classification, because the increased heterogeneity of workers within an occupation may be associated with differentiation of tasks within the occupation. For example, the entry of women into police work may result in new tasks and may generate work or skill requirements that reduce the importance of physical strength.
Over the course of the 20th century, both the U.S. population and the civilian labor force have aged. In 1900, the median age for the white population in the United States was 22.9 years (Gill et al., 1992:76). Estimates for the nonwhite population at the turn of the century are considerably less reliable and generally show a lower median age compared with the white population. By 1997, the median age of the population had risen to 37.3 years for