The Contributions of Past Immigration Flows to Regional Aging in the United States

James Raymer, Australian National University
Andrei Rogers, University of Colorado at Boulder

During the last half of the 20th century, the elderly population in the United States experienced many changes as a consequence of shifts in internal migration propensities, declines in mortality and fertility levels, and fluctuations in immigration flows. In this paper, we examine the impacts of these changes on elderly population growth and distribution patterns. We utilize 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000 census data, plus 2010 ACS data and multiregional demographic models, to analyze elderly population growth rates, age compositions, and spatial distributions over time. The contributions of immigrants who came in the 1960s and 1970s to the 2010 regional elderly populations are identified and compared those from the immigrants who arrived in the 1980s and 1990s in the 2030 projections. The projection model used to generate counter-factual scenarios allows us to calculate these contributions and conclude that the driving force behind the observed changes has been net aging-in-place.

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Presented in Session 57: Relationships between Migration, Immigration, and Aging