Empirically-based spatial projections of U.S. population age structure consistent with the shared socioeconomic pathways

Striessnig, E. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5419-9498, Gao, J., O'Neill, B., & Jiang, L. (2019). Empirically-based spatial projections of U.S. population age structure consistent with the shared socioeconomic pathways. Environmental Research Letters 14 10.1088/1748-9326/ab4a3a.

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Spatially-explicit population projections by age are increasingly needed for understanding bilateral human-environment interactions. Conventional demographic methods for projecting age structure experience substantial challenges at small spatial scales. In search of a potentially better performing alternative, we develop an empirically-based spatial model of population age structure and test its application in projecting U.S. population age structure over the 21st century under various socioeconomic scenarios (SSPs). The model draws on 40 years of historical data explaining changes in spatial age distribution at the county level. It demonstrates that a very good model fit is achievable even with parsimonious data input, and distinguishes itself from existing methods as a promising approach to spatial age structure modelling at the global level where data availability is often limited. Results suggest that wide variations in the spatial pattern of county-level age structure are plausible, with the possibility of substantial aging clustered in particular parts of the country. Aging is experienced most drastically by thinly-populated counties in the Midwest and the Rocky Mountains, while cities and surrounding counties, particularly in California, as well as the southern parts of New England and the Mid-Atlantic region, maintain a younger population age structure with a lower proportion in the most vulnerable 70+ age group. The urban concentration of younger people, as well as the absolute number of vulnerable elderly people can vary strongly by SSP.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2019 05:47
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:32
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/16089

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