longer lives and fewer children


“Well into the twentieth century, people died not that long after their last child left home. (In 1900, the average US life expectancy was forty-seven.) Now, in an unprecedented shift, parents are likely to have twice as much time with their adult kids than they spent with them as children. Longer lives and fewer children are transforming the traditional “family tree” into what sociologists have dubbed the “beanpole family,” stretched vertically across time but with few members in each generation. Fewer siblings, aunts, and cousins, but related to more living generations. More shared history, more cross-generational relationships, exhausting and exhilarating.” 

From This Chair Rocks, by Ashton Applewhite



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