A profound but mostly unrecognized demographic and economic trend is unfolding around the world right now. The average human life span is growing enough that for the first time in recorded history, four generations can routinely expect to be alive at the same time. To be sure, this trend is countered somewhat by the increasingly older ages at which many women give birth; in 2010, the mean age of mothers at the birth of their first child was 25 or higher in most industrialized countries. Even so, with more people living into their late 90s, the 4-Gen society that is taking shape can be expected to last at least one more generation, and probably much longer.
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