Demographic Trends affecting the US and the World

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Sometimes people ask why there is so much talk about diversity and inclusion. I explain that one of the primary reasons has been and will continue to be changes in demographics.

Anthony Cilluffo and D’Vera Cohn, of the Pew Research Center, recently expanded on this idea, presenting demographic changes that are likely to shape the US and the world. I highlight a number of them here.

First, Baby Boomers have long been the largest generation cohort in the United States. By 2019, however, demographers expect Millennials to assume this position.

People’s home lives are also changing. The presence of multigenerational households has risen over the past several decades, and people are now more likely to cohabitate with a romantic partner than in previous decades.

Further, as the Baby Boomers have aged out of full-time employment, the US workforce has largely grown due to the immigrant population. Cilluffo and Cohn estimate that, without new immigrants or US-born children of immigrants, the labor force in the US would drop between 2015 and 2035. Thus, immigrants represent a key driver of the US economy.

Birth rates are also likely to influence demographic trends in the future. Worldwide, children born to Christian mothers outnumber those born to Muslim mothers. By 2035, however, this pattern will change, largely due to the aging Christian population and the high fertility rates of Muslim women.

Finally, refugee status is likely to affect countries and workplaces. The number of people fleeing war-torn countries is at all-time highs and should only continue. These shifts will affect labor, social services, and communities.

In short, demographic trends around the world have spurred an interest in diversity and will continue to do so for some time.