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ERIC Number: EJ1000648
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0893-0384
Demographics and Lifelong Learning Institutes in the 21st Century
Shinagel, Michael
Continuing Higher Education Review, v76 p20-29 Fall 2012
Throughout the twentieth century the population of the United States, as indeed the rest of the world, was growing older. Since 1900 the percentage of Americans 65 years of age and older has more than tripled (from 4 percent in 1900 to 13 percent in 2009), and the number has increased from 3 million to 40 million. "Between 2010 and 2050, the United States is projected to experience rapid growth in its older populations," according to demographers at the US Census Bureau. In light of this demographic revolution among older Americans in the twenty-first century, one can begin to appreciate the great significance of a growing adult education movement referred to as lifelong learning institutes in the United States and universities of the third age (U3A) in Europe and the rest of the world. The European U3A model antedates the Lifelong Learning Institutes in the United States; they came into existence in the 1950s, when a confluence of factors, such as an increasing life expectancy and compulsory early retirement in industrialized countries, created a need for a growing cohort of retirees seeking a self-fulfilling Third Age. The lifelong learning and U3A movements in the United States and around the world will continue to grow as the population ages and seeks learning and teaching opportunities for self-fulfillment and enhanced cognitive functioning in later life. Given the success of these adult education movements, this would seem an opportune time for universities without such third age programs to give serious consideration to starting one.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A