cover image The Super Age: Decoding Our Demographic Destiny

The Super Age: Decoding Our Demographic Destiny

Bradley Schurman. HarperBusiness, $29.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-304875-1

The world’s population is aging rapidly and society needs to adapt, according to this earnest study. Schurman, CEO of research and advisory firm Super Age, highlights the “super-megatrend” of “population aging”: people are living longer and having fewer children, and as a result, society is getting older than ever before. By 2050, Schurman suggests, the “Super Age” will have arrived: one in six people worldwide will be over 65 years old, and societies will have to reckon with a growing need for eldercare and a shortage of workers. Schurman busts myths about the modern idea of a secure retirement and argues that the economic realities for people over 65 are much grimmer, citing that, for instance, 22% of Americans have less than $5,000 in retirement savings. He calls for quality health care, secure and safe housing, workplaces that are better suited to older workers (by taking age into account in diversity and inclusion strategies), and antidiscrimination policies that factor in ageism. His insistence on a more thoughtful approach to an aging society is buoyed by his optimism and his dedication to justice and care for all citizens: “The future may be gray,” he writes, “but it’s incredibly bright.” Policymakers and business leaders, take note. Agent: Esmond Harmsworth, Aevitas Creative Management. (Jan.)