Pi Attitude Zone: Self-Gratification

The Kids Moved Out: Let’s Hit Town

How recent a phenomenon is the dominance of urban living?  In the year 1900, just one-tenth of total world population lived in cities.

Things change.  Now over half of humanity is urbanized, and the proportion is projected to rise to three-quarters in the next 30 years. The agreeable myth of ‘country living’ is becoming a thing of the past. ‘Urban’ is quite simply trouncing ‘Rural’.

A big part of the trend is of course the long-term exodus of poorer people giving up on the agrarian economy, and moving to cities in search of work.  But part of the movement of people into cities and conurbations is a reversal of trends prevailing half a century ago.

In the USA, for instance, the Eisenhower Generation of the 1950s (aka Baby-Boomers) famously moved out of the cities to seek the perfect life in the America’s burgeoning suburbs and ex-urbs.  They were lured by big properties on big patches of land, and happily adopted a life of barbecues, taking the kids to Little League, and endless lawn-mowing.

But two big factors are now herding these Boomers back to the city.  First, their kids have largely grown up and left, leaving empty nests behind them.  Second, advancing age has dented Boomers’ enthusiasm for all that lawn-mowing.  Weekend barbecues?  They’d rather have a choice of restaurants right downstairs from a small-but-snazzy loft apartment, right there in the middle of town.

Boomer women, in particular, are behind the urge to re-urbanize.  If their old man shows a declining interest in helping with the chores, the ladies would rather live somewhere where there aren’t so many of them.  Chores, that is, not old men. 

Though actually, now you mention it...

Zone: Self-Gratification Country: USA / North America Product – Other