Skip to main content

The Demographic Transition: An Overview of America’s Aging Population and Immigration’s Mediating Role

September 2023


The United States faces long-term economic challenges due to an unfolding demographic crisis. Families are not having enough children to ensure robust population growth, and improved health care and living standards are leading to longer lifespans. The result is an aging U.S. population, with the average age rising each year.

The graying of America means that the portion of people who are of prime working age is getting smaller, with fewer workers available to fill open positions, ultimately reducing productivity, straining the federal budget, and slowing economic growth.

Today, the United States faces an already tight labor market, as demographers expect birth rates to continue to decline, life expectancy to reach new highs, and population growth to slow even further. In this environment, policymakers may turn to immigration policy to mitigate the adverse effects of faltering population growth, while strengthening the workforce and enabling economic growth.

This report reviews the research on the implications of the demographic transition toward an older population, the resulting economic challenges, and the mediating role that immigration can play.

Read Next
Downloads and Resources

Support Research Like This

With your support, BPC can continue to fund important research like this by combining the best ideas from both parties to promote health, security, and opportunity for all Americans.

Give Now