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The Rise of the Great-Grandparent Generation

Many of us never knew our great-grandparents. But that’s changing.

As Americans are living longer and are healthier than in previous generations, demographers are now saying that future generations are likely to have at least one living great-grandparent.

Kenneth Wachter, the Chairman of the Depart of Demography at the University of California, Berkley, has estimated that by 2030 more than 70% of eight-year-olds will have a living great-grandparent. Despite the aging of the generations, no one seems to be keeping track of the number of great-grandparents, according to Kevin Kinsella of the U.S. Census Bureau.

The power of having great-grandchildren in the lives of children? It tends to produce respect for the older generations. At the same time, it keeps our children grounded to the past with a view that life is not so much about themselves. It’s a powerful thing to have a repository of knowledge and wisdom right at your doorstep.

The rise of the great-grandparent generation hearkens back to a time before when extended families were more of the norm.

Perhaps, with this rise, we can see a similar strengthening of family ties and values?

Related Articles:
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10 Questions for Uncovering Family Stories
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About Bill High

Bill is CEO of the Signatry: A Global Christian Foundation. He works with families, individual givers, and financial advisers to share the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving. » Learn More. He is the co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously.

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