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The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown [Kindle Edition]

Paul Taylor , Pew Research Center
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The America of the near future will look nothing like the America of the recent past.

America is in the throes of a demographic overhaul. Huge generation gaps have opened up in our political and social values, our economic well-being, our family structure, our racial and ethnic identity, our gender norms, our religious affiliation, and our technology use.

Today’s Millennials—well-educated, tech savvy, underemployed twenty-somethings—are at risk of becoming the first generation in American history to have a lower standard of living than their parents. Meantime, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring every single day, most of them not as well prepared financially as they’d hoped. This graying of our population has helped polarize our politics, put stresses on our social safety net, and presented our elected leaders with a daunting challenge: How to keep faith with the old without bankrupting the young and starving the future.

Every aspect of our demography is being fundamentally transformed. By mid-century, the population of the United States will be majority non-white and our median age will edge above 40—both unprecedented milestones. But other rapidly-aging economic powers like China, Germany, and Japan will have populations that are much older. With our heavy immigration flows, the US is poised to remain relatively young. If we can get our spending priorities and generational equities in order, we can keep our economy second to none. But doing so means we have to rebalance the social compact that binds young and old. In tomorrow’s world, yesterday’s math will not add up.

Drawing on Pew Research Center’s extensive archive of public opinion surveys and demographic data, The Next America is a rich portrait of where we are as a nation and where we’re headed—toward a future marked by the most striking social, racial, and economic shifts the country has seen in a century.

Editorial Reviews


"The book's greatest strength lies in its detailed analysis of significant trends-from politics to lifestyle choices-among the four generational groups surveyed." ---Publishers Weekly

About the Author

The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping America and the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis, and other empirical social science research.

Paul Taylor is the executive vice president of the Pew Research Center, where he oversees demographic, social, and generational research. He is the author of See How They Run and coauthor of The Old News Versus the New News. Paul lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Sean Pratt (AEA/SAG/AFTRA) has been a working professional actor for twenty-five years. He has been an audiobook narrator for seventeen years, has recorded over 700 books in almost every genre, and has received eight AudioFile magazine Earphones Awards and four Audie Award nominations from the Audio Publishers Association.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2885 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (March 4, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FD36G0W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,846 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
110 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MAJOR CHANGES ARE BLOWIN' IN THE WIND March 4, 2014
This is one of the most concise, well-written accounts of the growing divide among Americans that I have ever encountered. It is brave, honest, direct, unbiased and drives straight at the heart of our current political & societal disconnect. While it does not offer very many workable answers (they are all so varied and complex it demands greater participation to resolve) it does get a number of the most important problems out on the table so that a wider group of concerned individuals can begin to grapple with the solutions. As the chasm continues to expand over the next couple of decades, this dilemma will necessarily attract more and more individual participation. I f you want to get a head start on the coming debate read this compelling book.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
‘The Next America’ written by Paul Taylor with a help from Pew Research Center research is an interesting book that through a variety of statistical data gives an accurate picture of what is America today and to what extent such picture is different from what it used to be in the past, or what some would like to think it is.

The book is presented in a manner known to those who follow the activities of the Pew Research Center, providing many statistical figures, charts and reports combined with the author's interpreting - therefore, except for the reading it could be an ideal source of useful data for further use, as a reference for other works.

‘The Next America’ is divided into 12 chapters that provide statistical information grouped by specific categories, named in the funny way which will immediately associate the reader what particular chapter is about such as Whither Marriage?, Nones on the Rise or Empty Cradle, Gray World.

Paul Taylor’s book is not too long, and on its 200 pages of text offers a fairly accurate picture in which direction America is heading that might not appeal to some, especially on the subject of exceptional growing divide between US residents. The author is not afraid to get on tricky issues like religion, sex or drugs while maintaining objectivity and a neutral attitude, trying to present data without politicization.

I personally was very interested to see trends that coincide very closely with my personal assumptions in which direction the future of America is going, so I believe you as well will find some answers in this book, or you may be intrigued to ask some new questions. In any case, I suggest you to dive into the sea of data book offers; ‘The Next America’ will certainly keep you interested for some time.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why All the Knocks on Social Security? August 6, 2014
The author is the Executive Vice President of the Pew Research Center. In the prefix, we are promised a lot of statistics. That promise is kept. That is what I liked most about the book.

As examples, he tells us that about 4 million babies are born each year in the U.S., plus another 1 million enter as legal immigrants. This is offset by the deaths of about 2.5 million Americans, for a net increase of about 2.5 million per year. That's good to know. We also learn that only about 51% of American adults are married these days, and that women are the primary breadwinners in about 4 in 10 American homes. Plus, fewer than one third of black adults today are married. And, nearly 3 in 10 American households now contain only one person.

We are also told that Barack Obama is President today primarily because of the votes coming from the young and the non-whites.

That is the good stuff. The bad stuff, in my opinion, comes when the author is surprisingly negative about the future of Social Security and Medicare, almost like he has bought into all the simplistic Paul Ryan/Republican Party arguments. In several parts of the book, he gives very negative reports on how Social Security works and may work in the future. I'll not go into my rebuttals of all that here.
My point is that if the author would have left that stuff out, it would have been a better book.

His Chapter 4, for example, seems like it belongs in a book on personal finance, one that is very conservative in its thinking. And when he says that "More than 7 in 10 Millennials do not expect Social Security to be their main source of retirement income, he gets himself in more trouble. Social Security has NEVER been projected to be the main source of anyone's income.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a page turner. March 29, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love the way the stats are disaggregated and made understandable for the lay person. There are even bits of humor here and there, if you can believe that. I read this on my kindle which does not do justice to the charts but I purchased a hard copy for my daughter who is very interested in social research so that she can have a "hard copy" on which to make notes. Being in the Silent Generation myself, I found that the solutions/observations about the younger and older generations being more alike than oppositional were encouraging.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading March 28, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent translation of data to useful information. The book should serve as a ready handbook and reference for anyone interested and involved (that should be all of us) in the changing nature of today's society. Without a ready understanding of our demographics, its impossible to grasp the import of the issues ranging from early childhood education to support services for older adults.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars skip this
Not at all what I expected.... in a bad way.
Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
SOOOO Boring and full of common facts
Published 7 days ago by tommy
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read this....
Great level of detail and information. Presented in a truly bi-partisan way. Very eye opening for where our country is headed.
Published 23 days ago by Brad Yates
4.0 out of 5 stars Pew research reports and statistics graphically demonstrate how...
Pew research reports and statistics graphically demonstrate how America has changed over the last 50-60 years and predictions into the middle of this century show how the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Titus Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Still reading but so far so good. Easy to pick up from where I left off at any point.
Published 2 months ago by Miss C Trainor
5.0 out of 5 stars It helped me to be more effective with features of my product and fine...
This book helped me to identify not only who buys or uses what products but why they do so. In trying to plan a marketing approach for my product, I found this book to be... Read more
Published 2 months ago by DIY
3.0 out of 5 stars Boomers have paid great sums into the "trust" funds from which we...
Knowing the Pew Foundation and the author's work history would result in a liberal bias, I thought Taylor's GOP bashing comments were simply in the way. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Just an old fart
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
For a book with a lot of numbers, The Next America is very readable.
Published 3 months ago by Jon Doggett
4.0 out of 5 stars I wonder why raising ss income tax cap wasn't a suggested solution --...
Readable, informative with a helpful and not overwhelming use of statistics. I wa hoping to learn more about the possible impact of changing demographics. Read more
Published 4 months ago by MRBHUIS
5.0 out of 5 stars America is changing an an alarming rate..and here are the numbers to...
This is a jam packed book of facts about America.It gives numbers that show how things have been changing over the years. Read more
Published 4 months ago by J. Guild
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