Day 10-Gray is the New Black

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

What’s next after millennials?

The young age group in the United States and Europe will become more ethnically and linguistically diverse. Since, on average, immigrant families tend to have more babies, the composition of our young will change very quickly, much faster than the population as a whole. What today we call “minorities” will be the majority in the years. This trend will bring about important behavioral changes.

Generation Z, the generation after millennials has grown up with the limitless opportunities provided by the power of computing and networking. They are more likely to have traveled across borders, have friends who are on the other side of the world, and know people from another religion or culture than that their parents and grandparents. Gender and race seem as divisive and contested as ever.

China’s bewildering generations

Nowhere in the world is the interplay between generations as complex as in China. The thing that makes this vast and diverse country such a fascinating social laboratory is that it has taken China a mere thirty years to accomplish what took Europe and the United States two or three centuries. As a result of China’s swift economic and demographic transition, by 2030 the country will have about 60 million fewer people between the age of fifteen and thirty-five than in 2020, and nearly 114 million more people above the age of sixty.

Chinese seniors face a more challenging future than their American counterparts not only because their numbers are increasing rapidly, but also because so many young people have left the countryside. Large-scale migration of younger workers from rural to urban China has separated many adult children from their aging parents and imposed significant challenges on traditional patterns of familial support.

The future of “old” and “young”

Understanding millennials today does not ensure that we better understand them in the future, because their behavior will surely evolve. As members of a generation go through the many stages of life, they adjust their attitudes and behavior. The group of people above age sixty today is going to differ, sometimes considerably, from the same age group in the future.

Millennials will live longer lives than previous generations, so the stakes regarding the definition of the gray way of life are getting higher. More than your people in the past, millennials have friends they count on in tough times. More millennials have college degrees than do prior generations, and there is no better predictor of functioning well at advanced ages than education. But many millennials will be well off by the time they reach retirement, but an equal, if not greater, number of them will find themselves in dire financial straits for most of their adult lives.

2030 by Mauro.F.Guillen: 65 - 70

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