Gray America: Politics and Economics of an Aging Society


Spring 2014 quarter

Taught by


With the aging of the post-war baby boom generation, the United States population aged 65 years and older is increasing rapidly. Between 2010 and 2030 this age group is expected to double in size, from 35 million to 72 million individuals and, by 2030, will represent nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population. Relative to earlier generations, today's seniors tend to be more affluent, better educated and in better health. But the aging of the population will present challenges to institutions and individuals. This program will examine the impacts of growth of the senior population on U.S. society.

The central focus of our study will be on the social and economic impacts of an aging population. We will try to sort out the effects on Social Security, Medicare the Affordable Care Act and other programs, and consider alternative public policy responses to these impacts. We will also study the economic impacts on individuals and families. What economic and financial decisions do we face as we grow older? How can we make choices that will secure a reasonable quality of life in our senior years?

Young people should not assume that this is a program for old people.  It is intended for students of any age who want to learn how an aging population will affect the next generations.  This younger generation can expect looming demographic changes to impact their job choices and prospects, their income and wealth expectations and their responsibilities toward their aging parents and grandparents.  We will develop concepts from economics and political science within the program; no prior study in these fields is necessary.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

government, business, economics, social work, public administration, law, and health care.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.


Date Revision
March 10th, 2014 This program has been cancelled.
January 23rd, 2014 New spring opportunity

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Freshmen–Sophomore; 50% of the seats are reserved for freshmen

Maximum enrollment: 20


Course Reference Number not yet available.

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