Speed Reads


Watch America's looming age imbalance unfold in 4 seconds

Watch America's looming age imbalance unfold in 4 seconds

The Pew Research Center has an amazing new report about America's shifting demographics that shows how the country is getting older, less white, and more liberal. The entire report is worth your time, and it includes some beautiful animated visualizations to put the demographic changes in context.

For instance, one such visualization shows the dreaded age distribution phenomenon that's projected to occur over the coming decades as Baby Boomers become the oldest generation. When charted with the oldest folks up top and the youngest people at the bottom, societies tend to have age distributions shaped like pyramids, like so:

But all those births a couple of generations ago threw the pyramid out of whack, which will have a lasting, noticeable impact. Here's a handy gif Pew made showing that problem playing out over a century:

It's a neat look at why some politicians are terrified about what will happen to the nation's social welfare system once a skinnier base of workers has to support that weightier pool of elderly retirees. Really, go check out the whole report. There's plenty of mesmerizing visuals and interesting information and, yes, more gifs.