The aging of the population of the United States is occurring at a time of major economic and social changes. These economic changes include consideration of increases in the age of eligibility for Social Security and Medicare and possible changes in benefit levels. Furthermore, changes in the social context in which older individuals and families function may well affect the nature of key social relationships and institutions that define the environment for older persons. Sociology offers a knowledge base, a number of useful analytic approaches and tools, and unique theoretical perspective
The United States is in the midst of a major demographic shift. In the coming decades, people aged 65 and over will make up an increasingly large percentage of the population: The ratio of people aged 65+ to people aged 20-64 will rise by 80%. This shift is happening for two reasons: people are living longer, and many couples are choosing to have fewer children and to have those children somewhat later in life. The resulting demographic shift will present the nation with economic challenges, both to absorb the costs and to leverage the benefits of an aging population.
Aging and t[more]
The population of the United States is growing inexorably older. With birth rates historically low and life expectancy continuing to rise, the age distribution of the population in the United States is growing steadily older. This demographic shift is occurring at a time of major economic and social changes, which have important implications for the growing elderly population. Other changes, such as the move away from defined-benefit toward defined-contribution retirement plans, changes in some corporate and municipal pension plans as a result of market pressures, and the 2008 financial cri
The population of Asia is growing both larger and older. Demographically the most important continent on the world, Asia's population, currently estimated to be 4.2 billion, is expected to increase to about 5.9 billion by 2050. Rapid declines in fertility, together with rising life expectancy, are altering the age structure of the population so that in 2050, for the first time in history, there will be roughly as many people in Asia over the age of 65 as under the age of 15.
It is against this backdrop that the Division of Behavioral and Social Research at the U.S. National Institute
In the United States, health care devices, technologies, and practices are rapidly moving into the home. The factors driving this migration include the costs of health care, the growing numbers of older adults, the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions and diseases and improved survival rates for people with those conditions and diseases, and a wide range of technological innovations. The health care that results varies considerably in its safety, effectiveness, and efficiency, as well as in its quality and cost.
Health Care Comes Home reviews the state of current k
The economic crisis that began in 2008 has had a significant impact on the well-being of certain segments of the population and its disruptive effects can be expected to last well into the future. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), which is concerned with this issue as it affects the older population in the United States, asked the National Research Council to review existing and ongoing research and to delineate the nature and dimensions of potential scientific inquiry in this area.
The Committee on Population thus established the Steering Committee on the Challenges of Assessin
In 1950 men and women in the United States had a combined life expectancy of 68.9 years, the 12th highest life expectancy at birth in the world. Today, life expectancy is up to 79.2 years, yet the country is now 28th on the list, behind the United Kingdom, Korea, Canada, and France, among others. The United States does have higher rates of infant mortality and violent deaths than in other developed countries, but these factors do not fully account for the country's relatively poor ranking in life expectancy.
International Differences in Mortality at Older Ages: Dimensions and S[more]
The rapid growth of home health care has raised many unsolved issues and will have consequences that are far too broad for any one group to analyze in their entirety. Yet a major influence on the safety, quality, and effectiveness of home health care will be the set of issues encompassed by the field of human factors research--the discipline of applying what is known about human capabilities and limitations to the design of products, processes, systems, and work environments.
To address these challenges, the National Research Council began a multidisciplinary study to examine a diver
Aging populations are generating both challenges and opportunities for societies around the globe. Increases in longevity and improvements in health raise many questions. What steps can be taken to optimize physical and cognitive health and productivity across the life span? How will older people finance their retirement and health care? What will be the macroeconomic implications of an aging population? How will communities be shaped by the shift in age structure? What global interconnections will affect how each society handles the aging of its population?
To address these qu
A mismatch between the federal government's revenues and spending, now and in the foreseeable future, requires heavy borrowing, leading to a large and increasing federal debt. That increasing debt raises a serious challenge to all of the goals that various people expect their government to pursue. It also raises questions about the nation's future wealth and whether too much debt could lead to higher interest rates and even to loss of confidence in the nation's long-term ability and commitment to honor its obligations. Many analysts have concluded that the trajectory of the federal budget s