#Grandparents are Trending.
The Economist is one of my favorite magazines for the hammock. So much wit and wisdom in each issue, and they’ve usually got a finger in the wind for trendspotting.
Recently, I read a story entitled “The Glory of Grandparents: The Age of the Grandparent Has Arrived,” and here were some of the key takeaways from the article:
- Since I was born (1960), global life expectancy has grown from 51 to 72, and the average number of children a woman births has dropped from 5 to 2.4 (in Mexico, this has dropped from 7 to 2 in the past 62 years).
- There are three times as many grandparents today as compared to 1960.
- The ratio of grandparents to children under 15 has grown from 0.46 to 0.8 during this time. We will have more grandparents in the next 25 years than kids under 15.
- In the U.S., 50% of very young children, 35% of primary-age kids, and 20% of teens spend time weekly with their grandparents.
Of course, there are many upsides to these stats. For example, in the U.S., having a grandmother within 25 miles of a child’s home increased the likelihood that the mom is in the labor force by 4-10 percentage points. Also, grandparents who care for kids have much lower depression and loneliness. And, of course, the value of intergenerational connection is incalculable.
In sum, being a grandparent can give you an amazing sense of purpose that is not just good for you but also good for your kids and grandkids.