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David Grabitske

David Grabitske is the manager of outreach services at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Pew Charitable Trust released a study on The New Economics of Marriage. The report shows an increase in educational attainment by wives, and a slight decrease for husbands. The report suggests then that women have more power within the household, and presumably over decisions on what the family will do.

The report seems to bear some of the general things known about Generation X families, since it focuses on people aged 30-44. Generation X places a very high value on education, and educational attainment rates tend to be higher for Gen X  than in other age cohorts. Gen X focuses on trade-offs such as what might they not be able to do if they choose to come to a history museum.

A couple years ago the Sherburne County Historical Society and I were looking at population statistics as they pondered how best to provide programs. One statistic that caught our attention was that the percentage of women-owned firms was relatively high (33%), but that most were very small with only one employee and a small percentage of the total revenue (6% of all revenue). The Pew report reminded me of these stats and Generation X: high educational attainment, individualistic, and probably an indication of the use of education to create small businesses.

What are you noticing about Generation X families in your community? How has that influenced the way you deliver your services? After reading the Pew report, does anything in that report remind you of what you see in visitation or usage at your organization?

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