Aging of Local Populations: A Preliminary Investigation


Variations in rates of aging and in age distributions across local areas.



Local and community-level data on changing age distributions are a central feature of an

industry that topped $18 billion in investment in 1996–the school construction industry (U.S.

Department of Commerce 1999). Schools are built and re-built for a number of reasons, not all

demographic (e.g., buildings wear out), but it is virtually impossible to borrow money to fund

school construction absent a demographically-based enrollment projection or forecast.1

Projection models are essentially the same in form: They combine the mechanical with the

delphic. Existing stocks of school children are “survived forward” via grade progression ratios.

This is analogous to cohort survival ratios using life tables, except that the progression ratios also

contain information about migration and grade retention. Similar methods can be used to convey

pre-school-age children into their school ages. All this works fairly well for five years or so into

the future, but planners, builders, school boards, taxpayers, etc. are investing time and money

toward a longer horizon. Where do new children come from?

Funded By: 
Award Dates: 
July 1, 2003 - June 30, 2004
PARC Grant Year: 
Year 10