Millenials seem to have other things to worry about besides marriage. But just because marriage isn’t in their future, doesn’t mean babies aren’t. According to a new Pew study on the generation, millenials, are getting married later and at a slower pace than previous generations, which is leading to a lot of babies being born out of wedlock.
The study shows that 47% of the millennial women who had babies in 2012 weren’t married, compared with 35% of mothers from Generation X when they were that age. It also seems that economic hardships is behind the rise in births and not marriage. Currently the median age for marriage is 29 among men and 27 among women, which is the highest it has been. Today, marriage seems to be more prevalent among those with higher incomes and more education.
The study also found that millenials between the ages of 18 and 33 are more diverse, less trusting but more optimistic about their future.
- A full half of millennials identify as politically independent, and just 31% believe there’s a big difference between Democrats and Republicans. Yet they’re distinctly liberal on many issues, and 60% voted for President Obama in 2012. It is the only generation in which conservatives don’t significantly outnumber liberals.
- Millennials are more racially diverse than any previous generation; about 43% are not white. Expect that trend to continue in future generations; about half of babies born today are not white.
- They’re significantly less devout. Only 58% say they’re “absolutely certain” God exists and 29% are not affiliated with any religion.
- Millennials are the first generation in the modern era to be worse off in terms of poverty, unemployment, income, and personal wealth than the two previous generations were at the same age.
- That might be why only 26% are married—compared to 36% of Gen Xers when they were this age, and 48% of Baby Boomers. But 69% said they’d like to be married, with many citing economic obstacles.
- Yet despite their hardships, millennials are more optimistic than other generations, with 49% saying the country’s best days are ahead, compared to 42% of Gen Xers and 44% of boomers.
For much more, head over to Pew to read the entire study.