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2013 ICAA

Demographics of Aging in the Americas: How Should We Prepare for an Aging Population in Mexico and the U.S.A.?

2013 ICAA Co-Organizers (Jacqueline Angel, The University of Texas at Austin jangel@austin.utexas.edu, Fernando Torres-Gil University of California, Los Angeles, torres@publicaffairs.ucla.edu, and Alberto Palloni, University of Wisconsin, palloni@ssi.wisc.edu)

The purpose of the 2013 ICAA meeting is to focus on the changing demographics in Mexico and its impact on the health and financial well-being of aging Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the context of the second epidemiologic transition. Research points to a dramatic demographic transformation in Mexico that shows the country is aging rapidly and their fertility rate is now about 2.0. This means Mexico will not be a young country much longer, their older population will increase rapidly and they are not reproducing themselves. However, the U.S. and Mexico bilateral relationships and assumptions have been based on a demographic conventional wisdom that a young Mexico and an aging USA have compatible interests. If in reality Mexico is becoming older and the USA stays relatively middle-aged (in large part because of an infusion of young Hispanics in the USA and with high fertility levels) how might these demographic changes upend presumptions about economics, immigration and national security? The conference will address this core question by building on past meetings by translating basic scientific knowledge into best empirically-based practice models in Latino Communities. To this end, the conference syllabi will include papers addressing the development of interdisciplinary research teams that more fully encompass biomedical as well as social and behavioral research from a bi-national context. The papers will also address in detail the social, economic, and policy implications of the demographic transition and the extent to which it results in a "demographic dividend." Finally, the collection of papers will identify, describe, and compare new and innovative policy alternatives in social protective systems, especially for low-income Mexican families now living in the United States caring for their aged parents. Although remittances to siblings still living in Mexico exist, the dynamics of transnational families appears to be changing due to immigration-related factors and the global economic recession.

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