Mom! Dad! Here's What Your 5-Year-Old Will Look Like In 2050

By the year 2050 your sweet Jimmy or Emily will be in their 40s. The prime of their life. But what about the prime of their country? Well, lets take a long-range look.

It's hard to make predictions, especially about the future, but here's a pair that look pretty sound. (1) Your 40-year-old will be living in an America in which 51% of the population will be Brown, Black or Yellow. In 2050 being White will no longer mean being first (2) Your 40-year-old will be lugging far more pounds than you did at that age. In 2050 being American may no longer mean winning as much Olympic Gold.

The first prediction appears demographically irreversible. The second is more iffy. If your children change current habits, the prediction could still prove wrong. However, right now our national habit of inactivity seems fixed. A UN study found the US ranked among the "most physically lazy countries in the world," with 40% of us engaging in little or no physical activity. Greece was the most active in the West, with only 2%of its citizens inactive.

Mom! Dad! Here's the point.

No matter how decisive and devoted you are as a parent, you can't control the world in which Jimmy and Emily will be faring. Population, poundage, and prosperity are all far outside your reach. And that's probably true regardless of who you vote for this November.

But there is a wild card out there.

The population of the clean lean living Amish in North America is doubling every 22 years. While there were only 179 settlements 20 years ago, there are nearly 500 today. By 2050 this remarkably unique brand of Americans is expected to be in the millions. Fortry-ish Jimmy and Emily may not become one, but by then their America may be happily feeling their presence far beyond their quiet farm communities.

Mom!. Dad! You might want to start reading up on the amazing history of the American Amish...

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  • On the other hand, Michelle Obama might get them to the health club, the schools may quit selling junk food, etc.

    And even if the Amish have a high fertility rate, there is no assurance that the offspring will adhere to that lifestyle, as maybe indicated that "beard cutting" is a hate crime. As Craig Ferguson (and others) often point out, you can insult the Amish on television because....they aren't watching.

    And, of course, how quickly are the Amish reproducing compared to, say, the descendants of the Robert Taylor Homes of the 1960s? Or the residents of Little Village who apparently still eat food make with lard?

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