Grown-ups: A Rare Breed?

Nation Down To Last Hundred Grown-Ups / The Onion.

According to recent data, the grown-up population has plummeted dramatically since 1950, when a Census count found that more than 24 million Americans could both admit when they were wrong and respect a viewpoint other than their own. Today, only one in three million citizens can provide thoughtful advice to a fellow human being instead of immediately shifting the topic to their own personal issues or what they had for lunch.

I knew about the rise of the Kidult, but apparently Grown-ups are not only rare, they’re dying out.  Defined as people who have foresight, are rational, personally responsible, and self-control (among other traits), grown-ups are, according to “the experts,” disappearing and could be gone in the next 50 years.  Personally, I find it hard to believe that only 104 grown-ups are left in our country.

The article does bring up the question, “How did we get to a place where this statement might be made?”  Why haven’t foresight, personal responsibility, and the other traits of grown-ups been passed on to younger generations?

I honestly think that some grown-ups have indeed been working on passing on those traits.  My parents for instance.  The reason why it doesn’t show up in the statistics right now?  Probably because none of their children are out on their own in the world yet, buying houses, running households, having families.  That doesn’t mean that my parents and other grown-ups haven’t been teaching the traits of grown-up-ness to a new generation.

Does that let others off the hook?  Nope.

So what are your thoughts?  Do you have a different idea about what constitutes a grown-up?  How are you coming, whether on being, becoming, or training a grown-up?

Thanks to Tim Challies for the link to this article.
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2 Comments on “Grown-ups: A Rare Breed?”


  1. Those stats are worrying and this is a good question. I think people are asking the wrong questions about adulthood. It’s not about owning a car and a house or having a job and a partner … and don’t forget a dishwasher! I agree that rationality, responsibility and self-control are traits of adults. It’s possible for people to be fiercely independent and hugely successful without exhibiting any of these traits. On the other hand … a lot of us live with our families (rather than in our “own space”) and exercise those traits while contributing to the family purse. Thousands – if not millions – of adults throughout history have lived this kind of life – before the nuclear family replaced the extended family. It’s only in this day and age that we measure a person’s “adulthood” by his or her independence from the family and success in the workplace. I’m a homeschool grad in my mid-late twenties. I live at home with my parents and siblings by choice. For a number of reasons, THIS is the rational, responsible and self-controlled decision to take; but it’s hard when people accuse me of avoiding adulthood because I don’t earn thousands of pounds a year and have a car and an apartment as well as a laptop and a ‘phone! If people start asking the right questions about adulthood, they might get some sensible answers!

    But, hey, that’s just my perspective! 🙂


    • Hmph. Yeah, I’ve had a few people register surprise or disbelief when I indicate that I’m enjoying staying at home and have no plans to move out!

      While some twenty-odd-year-olds are definitely “avoiding adulthood,” some of us are just staying home longer because it makes sense. For a young man, it might be necessary to move out because his job is too far away from the parental home, but for me as a young woman, I’ve made the decision to find work near my family. It’s a lot less expensive to live at home and contribute to a nuclear family! And it’s great experience on which I will draw later on when I have my own (hopefully large) family. 🙂 Those who will accuse us of being tied to apron strings (or some other expression of our dependence) do not realize that it’s perfectly acceptable to be dependent. Independence isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be, and embarking on independence too early can cause more emotional and financial pain that waiting (even if if means getting accused of avoiding adulthood!).

      Thanks for your thoughts!


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