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Politics & Current Affairs

Just as America’s Diversity Grows, So Does the Age of Its Population

Much is often said about America's growing racial diversity and its effect on the future of politics. Perhaps not enough is being said about the country's rapidly aging population.

Writing for “The Fix” over at the Washington Post, Philip Bump discusses up a major forthcoming demographic shift often ignored by cultural prognosticators: 

“Normally, political analyses of demographic shifts focus on the United States becoming less white. Over at the Daily Beast, Republican strategist Stuart Stevens raises another important point: It will also become grayer — i.e. older. The demographic shifts that the country will see over the next few decades includes a surge in people — a.k.a. voters — over the age of 65.”

Bump’s piece, linked again below, features an array of graphs to demonstrate the oncoming swell of seniors (and thus, senior voters). Without delving too deeply into the political ramifications of this research, it should be noted that older folks tend to vote much more often than other demographics. As their population grows, the issues that matter to seniors (such as retirement and healthcare) will only become more important to future politicians. 

We often hear about how America is becoming more diverse as immigrants and their children create new lives here. A lot is often said about how this shift will affect the topics of political discourse down the road. But Stevens (via Bump) notes that while the U.S. is becoming “less white,” it’s also becoming more gray, the insinuation being that older voters may not have the same political priorities as first-generation Americans.

Whether there’s any truth to that remains to be seen, but the main take away here is that with life expectancies up and birth rates down, America’s populations is going to look a lot more… well, rather than older we’ll just say “more seasoned…” than in years past. 

Read more at the Washington Post

Photo credit: Lisa F. Young / Shutterstock


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