Generational development can be both dependent upon cultural as well as circumstantial consequences. Society can influence the years between generations as can unforeseen situations. It is important to distinguish between familial and cultural generations. Some define a familial generation as the average time between a mother's first offspring and her daughter's first offspring. For much of human history the average generation length has been determined socially by the average age of women at first birth, about 16 years. This is due to the place it holds in the family unit economics of committing resources towards raising of children, and necessitating greater productivity from the parents, usually the male. Factors such as: greater industrialisation and demand for cheap female labour, urbanisation, delayed first pregnancy, and a greater uncertainty in relationship stability have all contributed to the increase of the generation length through the late-18th to the late-20th centuries. These changes can be attributed to both societal level factors, such as GDP and state policy, and related individual level variables, particularly a woman's educational attainment. In developed nations the average familial generation length is in the high 20s and has even reached 30 years in some nations. As of 2008, the average generation length in the United States was 25 years, up 3.6 years since 1970. Germany saw the largest increase in generation length over that time period, from 24 years in 1970 to 30 years in 2008. Conversely, generation length has changed little and remains in the low 20s in less developed nations.
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Famous quotes containing the words generation and/or familial:
“Man is distinguished, not only by his reason; but also by this singular passion from other animals ... which is a lust of the mind, that by a perseverance of delight in the continual and indefatigable generation of knowledge, exceeds the short vehemence of any carnal pleasure.”
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—Anne Taylor Fleming (20th century)