World population set to have more grandparents than kids

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This story is part of the megatrend Population shifts that's shaping the world today and tomorrow.

January 2023
Never before has there been so many grandparents in the world.

Today the world has about 1.5 billion grandparents, which is three times more than in 1960, writes The Economist in an article titled “The age of the grandma.”

Grandparents represent a growing share of the world’s population. By 2050 there will be more grandparents than kids under 15.

That’s because people are living longer and families have become smaller.

Global life expectancy has risen from 51 to 72 since 1960. Also, women today give birth to an average of 2.4 babies compared with 5 babies in 1960.

so what?
The trend could be good for young people as children usually do better when they have grandparental help.

In addition, more grandparents could contribute to increasing the number of women in the job market.

In Mexico, for example, grandmothers are the main source of non-parental childcare for young children.

Grandmothers that care for their daughters’ kids make it possible for the daughters to take on paid jobs outside the home.

Still, an aging population can leave a country with too few adults able to take on the jobs needed to run society.

Japan, said this month its low birthrate and aging population pose an urgent risk to society.

Reference shelf:
The age of the grandparent has arrived (The Economist)

Japan’s ageing population poses urgent risk to society, says PM (The Guardian)

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Drop in birth rates is accelerating