Demography, Education, and the Workforce
by Robert I. Lerman and Stephanie Riegg Cellini
May 2009, 167pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-35219-5
$67, £52, 59€, A92
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Paperback: 978-1-4408-3589-6
$36, £28, 32€, A50
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eBook Available: 978-0-313-35220-1
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Demographics—or population patterns—influence almost every aspect of economic and social life. Changes over time in births, deaths, family formation, migration, and immigration, have enormous implications for businesses, governments, and society as a whole. Yet, they are often overlooked in planning and policymaking.

Leading experts demystify demographics and show how population changes affect everything from government policy to business opportunities to educational standards.

Demographics, as Peter Drucker famously pointed out, is one of the seven sources of entrepreneurial opportunity. Why are demographics so important? Consider the quality and quantity of the U.S. labor force. Birth rates largely determine the size of the future workforce, and the numbers of younger and older people affect public spending on education. What’s more, patterns in marriage and child-bearing affect the labor force, and migration and immigration alter the mix of job skills, languages, and cultures in the U.S. workforce.

While business and government must react to these trends, they can also shape them. Immigration, education, welfare, and tax policies influence births, family composition, and the locations of people and businesses. In private markets, demography interacts with income levels to affect the mix of goods purchased, the types of workers in demand, and the range of new business opportunities available. Demography is a key item in every business or policy planner’s toolbox. Demography, Education, and the Workforce shows how to use its principles to advantage.


  • 15 illustrations
Robert I. Lerman is senior fellow at the Urban Institute, Washington, D.C., and professor of economics at the American University. The recipient of many awards and honors, he is the author or coauthor of dozens of refereed journal articles and five books or monographs. He is frequently interviewed or quoted in the media, including NPR, CNN, Bloomberg News, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, London Times, and Financial Times.

Stephanie R. Cellini is an assistant professor of public policy and economics at George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Her research interests include education policy, labor economics, and public finance. She is author or coauthor of nine articles or book chapters.


"All books in the series are written for the general reader, students in high school and up, and business managers, entrepreneurs, or graduate students in business and economics looking for a refresher. This book draws on studies by demographers, economists, sociologists, and historians to highlight some of the most important demographic research from the last few decades, looking at how emerging and past demographic patterns shape the US job market and education system. Chapters are devoted to four major trends: the aging of the US population in the context of national and international demographic shifts; changes in how US families and households are organized; legal and illegal international immigration flows; and shifts in the urban and regional population of the US and the role of migration within the US. The final chapter concentrates on the interactions among these four trends."—Reference & Research Book News, August 1, 2009

"With the introduction, summary, and index, these detailed chapters on each trend make this book an excellent resource for the general population as well as high school students and undergraduates. This work is highly recommended for all public, high school, and academic libraries."—ARBAonline, September 1, 2009

". . . a readable, well-documented guide to complex questions that will impact all citizens in the future. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, all levels of undergraduate students, and professionals."—Choice, November 1, 2009
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