International Year of Youth - Fact Sheet - Youth and Intergenerational Partnerships

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Intergenerational relations have typically centred on sharing knowledge, cultural norms, traditions as well as reciprocal care, support and exchange of resources. Today, demographic transitions, changes in family structures and living arrangements along with migration trends are increasingly influencing relationships across. With rising longevity and declining fertility, the world is ageing rapidly. By 2050, the number of people over 60 is projected to increase by 50 per cent in developed countries and triple in developing countries, with global life expectancy increasing to 75 years. While older adults may have more opportunities to share knowledge and resources with younger generations, they are also more likely to depend on the support of younger generations for longer periods of time. Demographic changes and challenges to current social protection systems, especially pension schemes, may put the autonomous future of young people at risk. Furthermore, due to growing unemployment among youth, housing shortages or insufficient means to gain independence, young people may also be dependent longer on their parents. Although still common in parts of the world, multigenerational families with intergenerational support and reliance are rapidly declining, especially in urban areas. Families are becoming smaller, and young people are postponing marriage, having fewer children and getting divorced. In rural settings, intergenerational patterns of socialization are often disrupted as youth migrate to cities, missing opportunities to benefit from the knowledge and guidance of older family members. Such trends pose new demands on family members and test the traditional grandparent-parent-youth relationships.

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