Giving Compass' Take:

• In this story from The Conversation, author Aviva Rutkin examines five trends in American demographics from 2018.

• How can these trends inform the priorities of the nonprofit sector? What benefits might come of understanding these trends better, such as why U.S. life expectancy is growing shorter, and how can donors support the search for answers?

• To learn about how your ZIP code might determine your lifespan, click here.

For a look back at 2018, I’d like to slow down and draw attention to a few stories that looked at the big picture. How is the U.S. changing, on a grand and gradual scale? How are Americans different than they were last year, or last decade, or last century?

1. Americans aren’t living as long

This was the third year in a row with falling U.S. life expectancy.

2. Americans aren’t having as many kids

This year, the national fertility rate fell by 2 percent, to just 1.76 children per women. That’s the lowest the rate has been in 30 years.

3. Americans are getting older

The country’s average age has shot up, from 28.1 years old in 1970 to 37.9 in 2016.

4. Americans are struggling with new racial dynamics

“Much like in California in the 1990s, we have seen a racialized ‘whitelash’ which in this case brought the election of Donald Trump, the racist violence in Charlottesville, and the revocation of DACA" [Manuel Pascor]

5. Americans are moving to the suburbs

Over the last 50 years, Americans have gradually moved away from rural regions, drawn largely by urban economic opportunity. Today, more than 80 percent of Americans live in an urban or suburban area.

Read the full article about demographics by Aviva Rutkin at The Conversation