The Millennial Challenge


A recent report by the Institute of Family studies has left a lot of people shocked. The most compelling statistic is fully 26% of American millennials have not yet started a family. Broken down further, this means this segment of the population have not married or had kids. Another portion of the report revealed an additional 18% have children but are not married. Finally, 56% are divorced. 

Wendy Wang, the director of research for Institute of Family Studies, shared her view of what is happening with the Millennial generation:

“Throughout history, marriage and parenthood have been defining milestones of adulthood. But for today’s millennial generation, these social institutions are not only loosely linked, but also beginning to lose ground. Millennials’ delay in ‘settling down’ marks a clear distinction from earlier generations. When the Baby Boomers were the same age, only 13% had not formed a family. And only 10% had never married but had children.” 

It appears the millennial generation is more likely than other generations to postpone parenthood and marriage. This begs the question, of course, what will the future hold? Wang also has thoughts on this: 

“According to an earlier projection that I conducted at the Pew Research Center, there has been a steady increase since 1970 in the share of young adults who have never married by the time, they reach ages 45 to 54,” she wrote. “Assuming the current trend continues, when today’s never-married young adults reach their mid-40s and 50s, a quarter of them are likely to have never tied the knot.” 

Wang continued, “Given … demographic trends, we expect that while many of today’s 30-somethings may eventually marry and become parents, a significant share will remain unmarried and/or childless when reaching older ages.” 

Read the fascinating analysis in its entirety here.