Population Aging:

Respond to ONE of the short essay prompts below. You must utilize theories and specific examples from the readings to construct and support your arguments. Use specific descriptions of data, figures, and time periods to construct a narrative of population change.
1. Population Aging:
The population of the United States is aging, bringing with it several issues for society. More elderly and fewer children means a shrinking workforce over time to pay taxes and provide services for the country. Describe how and why the age and sex structure of the United States has changed over the last century. Do you think that the United States is headed for economic decline due to the aging population? Or do you think that there are ways the United States can cope with an aging population, such as increased mechanization of the workforce, government policies to promote the choice of having more children, or increased immigration?
2. Marriage and Families:
Many hold a stereotype of the average American family – a husband and wife with 2.1 children, the husband is the breadwinner and the wife takes care of the home and the children. While this may have described many (though certainly not all) families in the 1950’s, it is not reflective of American families today, or even of families before the 50’s. Describe how and why American family structure has changed over the last few centuries. For example, what did a “typical” family look like in the early decades of the United States? What does a “typical” family look like now? How does this vary by demographic characteristics such as age, sex, and gender? What historical and institutional shifts such as industrialization impacted family structure? What do you think a “typical” family will look like in the future?
Remember, your paper must demonstrate your knowledge of the readings, use specific examples from as many relevant readings possible
Include a strong and clear thesis statement in the introduction, notifying the reader of your main arguments
Draw from course materials and assignments to build and support your arguments
Use specific examples, dates, figures, etc. to strengthen your points (for example: “In the United States, life expectancy increased from ‘xx’ years to ‘xx’ years for men between the years 1900 and 2000.”)
Remember to make connections between changes in numbers with historical events and social institutions (i.e. medical advancements from WWII, the invention and widespread use of vaccines, etc.)
Your political views and anecdotes should supplement your arguments; but they should not construct your main arguments
Do not copy and paste text from prior discussion board posts
Always proof read!