TCKs in the 21st Century

I recently had a guest post up on China Source, talking about TCKs in the 21st Century. I am often asked why my research (and book) focus on young TCKs. One angle is that of older TCKs, wondering why the new crowd get so many resoures while there is little available for older TCKs. Another question is about why there needs to be a focus on the 21st century specifically. Is there really any difference? In short – yes, there really is.

Here’s a summary of why I think it’s important to differentiate the experiences of 21st century TCKs from those of earlier generations:

“In researching the experience of living overseas as a child, I looked specifically at the experiences of TCKs born after 1985. These young people grew up under the influence of the internet and all the changes that have come with that. These younger TCKs were twice as likely to identify as having lived in an “expat bubble”, more likely to have attended an international school, and far less likely to have attended boarding school (10% as opposed to 50%). More importantly, changes to travel and communication over time have changed the emotional experience of TCKs.”

There are both pros and cons that come with improved communication and travel. I don’t know that the experience of TCKs in the 21st century is measurably better or worse than the experiences of those in years past. But I do think their experiences are measurably different.

For more on the topic, including a little of what I think those pros and cons are, see the full article on China Source: TCKs in the 21st Century


An updated version of the TCKs in the 21st Century post has been published on

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