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Ong on How to Prepare for U.S. Demographic Changes

UCLA Luskin’s Paul Ong spoke to the Associated Press about new Census Bureau projections showing an older, more diverse U.S. population by the end of the 21st century. Whether the nation’s total population increases or declines depends on immigration patterns, the bureau said, but in all scenarios, older adults will outnumber children and white, non-Hispanic residents will account for less than 50% of the population. The projections can help the U.S. prepare for change, including anticipating the number of schools that will need to be built and what resources will be required to meet health care demands of older Americans, said Ong, director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge at UCLA Luskin. “As most demographers realize, population projection is not an inevitable destiny, just a glimpse into a possible future,” Ong said, saying the information opens up opportunities for action. “Over 80 years, birth and death rates, fertility rates and migration rates can be changed through policies, programs and resources.”


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