The Demography of Aging Spr 11

The Demography of Aging Spr 11 - The Demography of Aging...

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Unformatted text preview: The Demography of Aging • To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old . – Oliver Wendell Holmes • To me old age is always fifteen years older than I am . Bernard Baruch Demography • Demography is the science of population dynamics. Focus of Demography • Demographers typically focus at the level of society rather than the micro-level of the individual. • Demography generally focuses on large and broad statistical groups within and across populations. • Demographic information represents statistical generalizations. There are variations within the group and exceptions to the generalizations. Population of Primary Concern for Gerontology • The population of primary concern for students of gerontology is the category of persons aged 65+ years. • Age 65+ years has been designated as a useful (if somewhat arbitrary) identifier of the older population for most demographic and gerontological studies. Sub-Groups of Elderly • Since there are substantial differences within the group of elderly persons in the U.S., Bernice Neugarten suggested that we consider three subgroups of elderly individuals. She referred to these groups as • The Young-Old 65 – 74 years: The “frisky” • The Old-Old 75 – 84 years: The “frail” • The Oldest-Old 85+ years: The “fragile” The Oldest- Old • The oldest-old – those aged 85+ years – are the most rapidly growing elderly age group. • Between 1960 and 1994, their numbers increased 274%. • The elderly population in general rose 100%, but the general U. S. population grew only 45%. • The oldest-old numbered 3 million in 1994, constituting10% of the elderly. • By 2050, the oldest-old will number 19 million, and constitute 24% of elderly Americans and 5% of all Americans. Centenarians • Among the oldest-old, the number of centenarians – people who are 100+ years –also is growing. The U. S. has the most centenarians followed by Japan, China, and England/Wales. • In 2002, there were an estimated 58,684 centenarians in the U.S. • The estimated number of centenarians in the U.S. by 2050 is expected to be 1,149,500. • In industrialized countries, the number of centenarians is increasing at a rate of approximately 7% per year. Longevity • Longevity embraces both the concept of the length of life and the quality of life. • Public interest in the extension of life is reflected in the increasing number of “anti-aging” and “life- extension” food supplements. • This has resulted in increased interest in consumer protection and government oversight through regulation of the manufacture and sale of such products. Life Expectancy • Life expectancy is a statistical projection of the length of an individual’s life span based upon probabilities and assumptions of living conditions, medical discoveries and advances, natural disasters, and other factors....
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2011 for the course EDHD 400 taught by Professor Robertson-tchabo during the Spring '08 term at Maryland.

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The Demography of Aging Spr 11 - The Demography of Aging...

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