Midlife crisis is most associated with the modern era and with developed countries. The key term here is developed countries. Midlife crisis is usually associated with western countries but more recently, evidence has emerged showing the struggle of a Midlife crisis is growing in what are traditionally described as Eastern countries. The rise of the middle classes in China, combined with a trend towards a capitalist economy have led to a generation of Chinese becoming afflicted with the mindset that leads to a midlife crisis.
The traditionally western countries contain the largest population of people coping with a midlife crisis. The historical reason for a midlife crisis being a predominantly a western problem is attributed to the differences in culture.
- Western perspective: A person adapts their life to meet specific goals. The person defines an overall, or final, meaning for their life.
- Eastern perspective: Life itself is already shaped, and the shape of life determines its meaning. There is no final defining purpose, Instead the defining aspect of life is found in the living of each moment.
These are very different viewpoints. The ethos of living, the structure of families and the culture of respect are all factors why there are fewer instances of midlife crisis in eastern countries.