I HAVE SPENT A good part of four decades studying and relying upon demographics. For some, the use of population trends and statistics is the stuff (or perhaps the stuffy) of cocktail parties and testy holiday dinner conversation. But for those of us who make forecasts and guide our clients through the turbulent waters of disruptive change, demographics provide the tools, the content, the baseline, and the trend lines to buttress our peek into the future.

Our capacity to collect statistical data continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and with breathtaking speed. We are well into the world of Big Data—mind-blowingly large amounts of data that can be analyzed to reveal patterns, trends, etc., about all sorts of human behavior. We even ...

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