World and Nation

Shorts (right)

Foreign-Born Population Near Record Levels

If present trends continue, within two decades the nation’s foreign-born population will surpass the historic 19th-century peak of nearly 15 percent of all residents, according to projections released Monday.

Further, because a vast wave of baby boomers will be swelling the ranks of the elderly, the so-called dependency ratio — the number of people below 18 and above 64 compared with the number of those in the prime working years — will rise to 72 per 100 by 2050 from about 59 per 100 in 2005, according to the projections, by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. The ratio will be even higher if immigration subsides, the report found.

What such an outcome could portend, other analysts have said, is a nation riven politically between older, whiter, voting retirees who are increasingly supported by a younger, darker, working population that, as immigrants, may be disproportionately ineligible to vote.

“A higher number of elderly or children relative to the number of workers translates into higher costs per worker to pay for all government programs, including those targeted at the young and old such as schools and Social Security,” said the new analysis, based on fertility and death rates and immigration trends.

Aggressive Yahoo Takeover Possible

The war of words between Yahoo and Microsoft has begun.

Hours after Yahoo officially rejected Microsoft’s takeover offer Monday, calling it too low, Microsoft described Yahoo’s response as “unfortunate” and said its own proposal was “full and fair.”

Microsoft’s statement suggests that, at least for now, the company is not willing to raise its price. Microsoft also indicated anew that it was ready for a fight, repeating earlier statements that it might consider “all necessary steps” to ensure the deal is completed.

Experts said Microsoft could ratchet up pressure on Yahoo’s board by taking its offer directly to shareholders and waging a proxy fight to oust Yahoo’s directors; it has until March 13 to nominate a new slate of directors.

Earlier in the day, Yahoo said Microsoft’s bid “substantially undervalues Yahoo including our global brand, large worldwide audience, significant recent investments in advertising platforms and future growth prospects, free cash flow and earnings potential, as well as our substantial unconsolidated investments.”

Yahoo said its board would “continue evaluating all of its strategic options.”

Microsoft initially offered to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion, or $31 a share, in a mix of cash and stock. After a decline in Microsoft’s shares, the value of the offer now stands at less than $29 a share.