Wow, as a 30-something person who DOES do genealogy and who KNOWS many young people who are interested, I have to admit that your post is insulting on a few fronts. "We are especially uninterested in our family." What?! First of all, I am a stay-at-home-mom and wife - my family is EVERYTHING to me. I started doing genealogy for my kids' sakes, but I soon realized that my entire extended family in benefiting from my work. Second, we are not educated enough to do genealogy research? I have a Master's Degree and just about every young person I know, even my 22 yr old sister, has the computer and research knowledge to begin basic genealogy research. You don't need to like history to embrace genealogy - you need to show people how it tells life stories. Everyone loves a good story, esp. when it's about a family member. Do you remember what it was like in your 20s and 30s? Here's how mine went: College, grad school, plan wedding, work, work, surgery on leg, move, have baby, more surgery, have another baby, move again. Not a whole lot of time for genealogy research. Oh, and let's not forget that genealogy isn't not cheap - right now, saving for my kids' college funds and our retirement funds is sort of a bigger priority for me and my husband and it will be for awhile. I just started a genealogy blog last year and I can't tell you how many of my contemporaries comment and say "Wow that's so cool, I wish I could find that stuff out about my family." We ARE interested. My suggestion to YOU and other "older" people who seem to hold unreasonable and completely untrue stereotypes about young people is to stop insulting us and instead use your enthusiasm for and knowledge of genealogy to welcome us into the fold.First of all, I would like to commend Anonymous for her interest in genealogy. But I think her comments that my post was insulting goes a little too far. I am sorry if she felt insulted. As I pointed out in my reply to her comment. She finds herself in a very small minority. First, she has an advanced degree, second, she is married with two children and third, she is interested in genealogy. Obviously, my comments were not directed at her or her peer group. Let's look at one fact, worldwide for an example of the small minority we as genealogy belong to.
According to the U.S. Census website, there are today, 7,073.445,406 people in the world. OK, so how many of these could be considered genealogists? Are we going to classify everyone who has an "interest in their family" as genealogists? Or even potential genealogists? Let's do some guessing here. I think a fair and liberal assessment of the number of "actively" interested genealogists could be somewhere about the total number of people with online family trees. How many are there in this category? Unfortunately, these statistics are quite difficult to obtain. Ancestry.com claimed about 2 million paid subscribers worldwide in 2012. Let's triple that number as an estimate of the number of family trees worldwide, say 6 million or so. This is about .08% of the world's population. If that holds true in the United States, only about 27,000 people out of the U.S. population of 315,525,293 would be interested in genealogy. I think the numbers are likely higher because more people in the U.S. proportionately are interested in genealogy than some other countries. Let's assume, for the purpose of illustration, that half of the world's genealogists, as defined by an online family tree, live in the U.S. or about 3 million. (I personally think this is quite a high estimate, but useful for illustration). That means that .04% of the U.S. would have a family tree online or about 126,000 people. This seems high to me, but it is possible. What would be the age spread of those 126,000 people?
Well, some statistics are available to give us an idea. Those are the statistics of who reads the genealogy blogs. That is relatively simple using Alexa.com. My readership is predominately over the age of 55, with a graduate degree, no children, and browsing from work. The readers are pretty well evenly split between male and female. So in a few years, Anonymous, the commentator, will fit right into the demographic.
As a married, 30 something, with a husband and a stay-at-home mom with two children, Anonymous has put herself into an even smaller minority since in that age group only about half of all the people are even married.
The point is that the Anonymous commentator finds herself in a very small minority. I could go on quoting statistics, but the reality of the situation is that genealogy is a very small special interest activity and the question I ask and asked is how do we expand that interest into a population that is really not interested in the same things we are.
Of course my assumptions are always open to discussion and used for illustration only. I do not claim to be exactly accurate but only generally so. I could start citing statistics about the general educational level of people in the U.S. but that would be too discouraging.
I must admit, that I associate with a whole lot of genealogists. But the antipathy of the general population towards genealogy is marked. My blog post was intended to start people thinking and it looks like I did. Thanks for all your comments but I will still be reporting at RootsTech about the makeup of the attendees.