Intergenerational proximity and distance over 200 years: examples from two Swedish regions
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
In most Western societies of today populations are ageing, which is expected to pose new challenges to the welfare state. Still, the family might also be affected by an ageing population, if more extensive needs of the elderly cannot be met by the welfare state. For the family, one important factor for managing intergenerational interaction is geographical proximity, and living close has been shown to be a vital prerequisite for help and assistance between elderly parents and adult children. When it comes to the possibility to interact with kin, a common notion has been that as society develops through industrialisation, urbanisation and individualisation, families and kin become less dependent on each other and more spread out geographically, which would challenge their possibilities to offer assistance to each other. In this paper, intergenerational geographical distance in modern and historical times is examined through the unique possibility to combine population register data from six cross-section years stretching from 1820 to 2002. The main finding from the study is that there has been a dramatic decrease over time in generations living extremely close to each other. On the other hand, when it comes to having an adult child within time adjusted daily reach the decline has been much less drastic. Intergenerational geographical distances, beyond the extreme proximity, thus seem to be stable and resilient even though society is changing.
family, elderly parents, intergenerational, geographical proximity, ageing
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject Social and Economic Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-38874OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-38874DiVA: diva2:383781