Key themes in research on the demography of aging

For years, researchers and policymakers have attempted to focus attention on population aging by discussing the likely implications to individuals, governments, and society of the baby boom generation reaching old age. No longer can researchers and policymakers say that these are issues that will arise far into the future; the leading edge of the baby boom cohort—born in 1946—will turn age 65 next year. The future is upon us. The implications of this change in age structure are tremendous, although we may not fully understand the impact for years to come. However, an incredibly rich research infrastructure is now in place that did not exist just 20 years ago. Drawing on this infrastructure, scientists of today and tomorrow will generate new knowledge that will allow us to more intelligently address the most pressing social and economic issues facing society, issues such as the ones examined in this special issue.