February 8th, 2013 | Posted in Aging, Population Basics
by Carl Haub, senior demographer
Population pyramids are one of demography’s most useful graphics. And they can be easily prepared in Excel and PowerPoint. Here are some simple instructions and files to get you going.
To start, open the file Zambia Pyramid.xls and click on the tab at the bottom left, “DATA.” In Columns F and G, Zambia’s population by five-year age group and sex has been entered. In this case, it has been entered to the nearest person; depending on the source you use, it could be entered to the nearest thousand.
Now decide the scale you want to use. Graphing the data to the nearest person would result in the labels on the vertical y-axis to look a cluttered at best. The figures in Columns B and C are to the nearest million. Place the cursor on Cell B3: Two changes have been made to the data. First, the figures have been multiplied by -1 so that bars for males will appear on the left of the pyramid. Second, the figures have been divided by 1,000,000 in order to show labels in millions. If your data are in 1000s or some other form, simply change the “n” in the formula to some other value and copy the formula to 85+. Data for females are treated the same way, except that you don’t need to multiply by -1. Finally, the data are checked to see that they add up to Zambia’s total population.
Read the rest of this entry »
April 10th, 2012 | Posted in Aging, Immigration/Migration
by Schuyler Null
This post was originally published by The New Security Beat, by the Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
“Demography is sexy – it’s about nothing but sex and death (and migration),” said Rhodes College Professor Jennifer Sciubba at the Monterey Institute of International Studies during a workshop on March 30.
Jack Goldstone of James Madison University, Richard Cincotta of the Stimson Center, and ECSP’s Geoff Dabelko joined Sciubba in a workshop for students and faculty on key developments in political demography. Sciubba and Cincotta were contributors to Goldstone’s recently released edited volume, Demography: How Population Changes Are Reshaping International Security and National Politics.
Photo: Wilson Center/The New Security Beat.
“Demography is changing the entire economic and strategic divisions of the world,” Goldstone told the room. “We’ve had a 15 year increase in life expectancy just in the last half century,” and today, “90 percent of children under 10 are growing up in developing countries.”
Many countries, said Goldstone, are caught in a difficult race between growth and governance, with governments struggling to provide services and opportunity to their growing populations. This challenge is especially acute in cities, which for the first time in human history are home to the majority of all people.
At the same time, aging is a phenomenon that will affect many developed countries. In the United Sates, the baby boomers are becoming “the grayest generation,” Goldstone said, and similar imbalances between the number of working age people and their dependent elders will soon affect Western Europe, Japan, Korea, Russia, and others.
Read the rest of this post at The New Security Beat.
May 26th, 2011 | Posted in Aging
by Mark Mather, associate vice president, Domestic Programs
Women live longer than men, not only in the United States, but in nearly every country that appears in PRB’s annual World Population Data Sheet. But in the United States and many other developed countries, this gap is narrowing. In 1979, there was an eight-year gap in life expectancy between U.S. men and women. By 2008, this gap had narrowed to five years. It’s not that women are dying sooner, but men’s life expectancy is increasing at a faster pace. Practically speaking, this increase in men’s life expectancy is leading to big changes in the sex ratio—the number of males per 100 females in the population. In 2000, there were 41 men ages 85 and older for every 100 women in that age group. By 2010, that ratio had increased to 48, and it is expected to rise further as a healthier cohort of baby boomers reaches retirement age. There have been similar increases in the sex ratio among the ‘”young” old—those ages 65 to 84.
Males Per 100 Females in the U.S., by Age Group, 1990-2010
|5 – 14
|15 – 24
|25 – 34
|35 – 44
|45 – 54
|55 – 64
|65 – 74
|75 – 84
|85 and older
Source: U.S. Census Bureau.
If current trends continue, men’s life expectancy could approach that of women within the next few decades. The rising sex ratio has implications for family relationships and caregiving in old age. There could be more potential partners for older women, and fewer women living alone. We could also see an increase in older men or women providing care for an ailing spouse. Given recent changes in family structure, including a rise in cohabitation and nonmarital births, it is possible that fewer adult children will be available—or willing—to provide care for elderly parents in the coming decades. Could spousal care help fill this gap?
December 16th, 2010 | Posted in Aging
by Carl Haub, senior demographer
I just returned from a vacation to Germany and came across something I hadn’t seen there before. There, on shopping carts at a DM-Drogereimarkt (a drugstore chain) in Hannover were both magnifying glasses and a hook upon which to hang one’s cane (see photo). Presumably the magnifying glass is help read fine print on labels and prices. So, we have a society beginning to accommodate an aging population on the retail scene!
At the end of 2009, every fifth German was age 65 or older. Of those older people, 57.7 percent were females, a somewhat skewed proportion due to heavy male mortality during World War II. That proportion is expected to grow in the future. The official “middle series” population projections of the Federal Statistics Office assume that the birth rate will not increase from the current total fertility rate (TFR) of 1.4 children per woman and, in fact, it has been 1.4 or less since 1991. What does this mean? Should the TFR remain constant to 2050, Germany’s population will decline from the current 82 million to anywhere from 69 million to 74 million, depending on the amount of annual net immigration. In both cases, the proportion of the population ages 65 and over would rise to about one-third. It seems that Germany is preparing for an elderly society even in shopping malls.
May 4th, 2010 | Posted in Aging, Immigration/Migration, Income/Poverty
by Marlene Lee, senior research associate, Domestic Programs
In response to my earlier blog post on immigration and social security, researcher Dowell Myers makes the valuable point that considering immigration as a solution to the Social Security financing problem is not an “all or nothing” proposition. Immigration may be part of a solution, reducing the old-age dependency and helping to reduce the deficit of the Social Security program (see Social Security Advisory Board’s estimate of reduction). In his work, Myers estimates that feasible levels of immigration could reduce the old-age dependency ratio by 25 percent. Both Myers and Reich in their NPR interviews suggest that the policy solutions for Social Security should include immigration.
However, research suggests that increased immigration may have drawbacks for vulnerable populations that other policy options do not. George Borjas and other scholars provide evidence that immigration is most likely to hurt low-income workers. (For information on immigrant characteristics, see MPI report on immigrants and recession, and for a readable account of Borjas’ argument see NYT Magazine contributor Roger Lowenstein’s article “The Immigration Equation”) If one accepts the premise that immigrants reduce job opportunities for low-income workers, particularly visible minorities—a big if —then a solution that includes high levels of immigration might well affect the Social Security earnings of low-income and minority workers. This is because individuals’ eligibility for and level of Social Security benefits are tied to their earnings history.
Teasing out the effect of policy on different population groups is always difficult. And certainly many economists would argue that to the extent immigrant workers contribute to small business growth and spend their earnings in the United States, they may ultimately increase job opportunities. In any case, other policy options such as raising the Social Security payroll tax or changing the rules so that high earners pay Social Security taxes on all earnings, not just the first $106,800, do not disproportionately affect low-income workers. Also, let’s not forget that part of the equation for Social Security solvency is the labor force participation rate. Increases in women’s labor force participation rates had a positive impact on labor force growth, thereby increasing contributions paid into Social Security. Certainly even with the same old-age dependency ratio, if women’s labor force participation rates had not risen over the previous four decades, the Social Security financing gap would be larger. But these rates have stabilized, and the women who helped fuel economic growth will be among those collecting Social Security in the next 30 years.
A high rate of labor force participation among immigrants is one of the reasons that more immigration might work as part of the answer to the gap in Social Security funding. Higher labor force participation rates among native-born minorities also have the potential to increase growth of the labor force and future contributions to Social Security, just as increased female labor force participation did. But, this potential solution is not often mentioned in the current debate, perhaps because it is not perceived to be as easy to achieve as expanding immigration.
January 8th, 2010 | Posted in Aging, Population Basics
by Carl Haub, senior demographer
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has long advocated a rise in Russia’s very low birth rate. In 2007, with his bidding, the government took the dramatic step of providing women with a $9,000 payment for the birth of a second child. The incentive certainly seems to have worked. In 2007, births jumped nearly 9 percent over 2006 and, in 2008, by 6.4 percent over 2007. Russia’s total fertility rate (TFR) now stands at 1.49 (2008), up from its nadir of 1.16 in 1999. And several other developments may combine so that Russia’s population size avoids the decline begun in 1995. This was not lost on Mr. Putin, who has been widely quoted celebrating the prospect of a year with no decrease.
Photo used under Creative Commons from Sangudo
Official demographic data have been released by the state statistical bureau, GOSKOMSTAT, for January 2009 through November (Russia releases vital statistics very quickly). Those show an increase in births for the January-November 2009 period of 2.8 percent, lower than the previous two years but still an increase. At the same time, deaths dropped by 3.7 percent so that natural decrease, birth minus deaths, was “only” -224,310. I say only because that figure was an astounding -958,000 in 2000. So for population to grow in 2009, net international migration will have to offset that -224,310. That certainly seems to be well within reach since net immigration from January to October was reported as 210,446, much of it from Central Asia and other former Soviet republics which the Russians often refer to as the “near abroad.” Based on typical migration patterns in Russia in November and December, about 250,000 net immigration can be expected. So, population-watchers, look for some celebrations in Russia later this month.
But, hold the phone. The Russian TFR, at about 1.5 is still very low and the country still depends upon non-Russian migration to keep its head above water. But there’s more and it’s even more important. Russia’s age-sex pyramid took a body blow during the period of high natural decrease. The number of young people moving up the age ladder into the prime childbearing ages is much less than those now in the childbearing years. As of January 1, 2009, there were 6.2 million females in the age group 20-24. The 15-19 age group was only 4.5 million and both the 5-9 and 10-14 age groups taken together totaled 6.5 million. As those younger age groups begin childbearing, births will certainly decline even if the TFR rises. Beyond that, deaths will rise as the elderly population grows significantly in size.It may be a short party.
September 11th, 2009 | Posted in Aging
by Mark Mather, associate vice president, Domestic Programs
The Census Bureau released new 2008 poverty and health insurance estimates today. Poverty rates are up (no surprise there), but it’s the health insurance numbers I was most interested in. In 2008, there were 46.3 million people in the United States without health insurance. That number is only slightly higher than it was in 2007, but it’s misleading to say so. In fact, the number of children without insurance dropped sharply, from 8.1 million to 7.3 million, while the number of working-age people (18 to 64) without insurance increased, from 36.8 million to 38.3 million.
Among the working-age population, it was the part-timers who were hit the hardest. The number of part-time workers without coverage increased by more than 1 million between 2007 and 2008, the largest increase among any major population subgroup. In 2008, more than one in four part-time workers lacked health insurance, roughly the same share as those who did not work at all last year.
An increase in the number of people covered by government insurance kept the nationwide coverage rates stable from 2007 to 2008, at around 85 percent. As reported in the New York Times, this continues an eight-year trend of declining participation in private or employer-sponsored insurance programs and increasing participation in government-run programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and health care for the military. If we were to remove the 2008 increase in government insurance coverage, and assign those people to the “uninsured” category, then the overall health insurance coverage rate would have dropped 2 percentage points, to 83 percent.