The online educational division for the Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center’s Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, Ageworks, offers online course modules on aging. For demographic information, one particular free online course is the Demographics of an Aging Populationcourse. Community planners and local leaders can use the site to deepen their understanding of aging demographics.
The online course covers the following: introduction and trends for 65+ individuals, dependency ratios, change in population age structures, demographic transition, mortality rates and trends, fertility rates and trendscombinations, discussions, and key points. The course continues with materials covering world and U.S. population pyramids. Though course data is projected through 2010, the material is broad enough that it can still provide a good basis for understanding why age demographics are important. For example, one outdated but dramatic statistics states, “Everyday, 8000 people celebrate their 65th birthday and 3800 Americans celebrate their 85th birthday.” The actual rates are higher now but the point is that more people are aging faster than the birthrates, which creates an aging society. As society grows older, the implications of aging will impact everything from Social Security to food supplies.
How to Use
Leaders and planners can use this resource to help educate potential partners or volunteers. It provides a solid understanding of the need for age ready planning in easy-to-understand terms. The fact that it is a cost-effective course that is offered by a credible university source (University of Southern California) enhances the value of the site. Community leaders and local planners should use the site as an additional resource for training community volunteers.
View the website: Demographics of an Aging Population