Population Composition

  • Krishnan Namboodiri
Part of the The Springer Series on Demographic Methods and Population Analysis book series (PSDE)


Social change is influenced not only by the number and growth rate of the people involved but by the dynamics of their makeup (composition) as well. A population with an older age structure may be spending more on health care, other things being equal, than one with a younger age structure. If among the young immigrants to a country males predominate, some of those men are likely to marry women of a different nationality. When the elderly’s share of the total population increases, businesses begin to change their practices accordingly, for example, they may use older people in advertisements, or make and market materials that are of particular interest and use to the elderly. If the opportunity structure in a community is not consistent with the makeup of the opportunity seekers, the imbalance is likely to trigger out-migration. When the absolute and relative numbers of people on welfare increase, some begin to shout that the social welfare system is destroying the work ethic and prompting the poor to prefer welfare to other ways of life. Talks about scrapping the U.S. Social Security system increase in frequency and intensity as the day draws near when the “elderly boom” is expected to descend on it, causing severe financial strain.


Income Inequality Gini Coefficient Baby Boom Lorenz Curve Dependency Ratio 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krishnan Namboodiri
    • 1
  1. 1.Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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