Book Chapter

How populations age

Goldstein, J. R.
In: Uhlenberg, P. (Ed.): International handbook of population aging, 7–18
International handbooks of population 1
Dordrecht [et al.], Springer (2009)


In this chapter, I explain how changes in rates of birth, death, and migration act to change the age structure of populations. I present commonly used measures of population aging and give an overview of world population aging. Simple mathematical results for stable and non-stable populations are presented. Finally, I discuss adaptation to population aging, notably the different nature of aging caused by fewer births as opposed to longer lives. Examples of population aging are illustrated using the historical and forecast populations of India, Sweden, and Vietnam.
Keywords: demographic transition, fertility, migration, mortality
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.