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Taylor discusses 'New America' at Flagler Forum series

September 4, 2014 3:31 PM
Paul Taylor

According to Paul Taylor, the America of the early 21st Century is undergoing two unprecedented demographic changes simultaneously: our population is becoming more diverse and a record share is getting grayer.

Taylor, a Senior Fellow at the Pew Research Center and author of “The Next America: Boomers, Millennials and the Looming Generational Showdown,” will discuss the changing landscape when he kicks off the Flagler College Forum on Government and Public Policy series on Sept. 23.

“The key factors driving demographic change in the early 21st century really are immigration, the aging of the baby boom generation, the increase in longevity, the decline in marriage and the rise of economic inequality,” said Taylor. “All of these changes have produced an American population in which young and old don't look, think or vote alike. And while generation gaps are nothing new, today's are unusually large, and potentially fraught.”

Taylor believes that the impact of this new gap could seriously impact elections as early as 2016.

“We now have a electorate that leans much more Democratic in presidential years than in mid-term elections. That's because the turnout is nearly 50 percent bigger in presidential years,” said Taylor. “Those who also vote in the mid terms are disproportionately older, and these days that means they are more likely to be conservative and Republican leaning.”

Prior to being appointed senior fellow, Taylor served as executive vice president and oversaw all demographic, social and generational research at the Pew Research Center, a non-partisan “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.

Taylor also worked as a newspaper reporter for 25 years, the last 14 at The Washington Post, where he covered national politics and served as bureau chief in South Africa during the historic transformation from apartheid to democracy.  

For more than 30 years, the Flagler College Forum on Government and Public Policy has invited nationally recognized journalists and commentators to St. Augustine to discuss issues of importance in regional, state and federal government.

All forums take place at Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada St., at 7 p.m. Forums are free and open to the public thanks to the generosity of speakers who donate their time in support of the series. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign language interpreters are provided. Call (904) 819-6400 for more information.

2014-2015 Forum on Government and Public Policy Fall Schedule

• Sept. 23 - “The Next America" – Paul Taylor, Author, Senior Fellow at Pew Research Center

• Oct. 7 - “Reporting and Storytelling in the Age of Social Media” – Jennifer Preston, Reporter and editor, The New York Times

• Nov. 13 - “Obamacare at One” – Healthcare panel featuring Howard Gleckman, Urban Institute Fellow and author of “Caring for Our Parents;” John Rother, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care; and Joseph Gordy, President and CEO of Flagler Hospital

Topics: Events