Millennials in the United States have a much different view of society and the economy than generations before them had at the same age. Whether it comes to their education or starting a family, a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau shows culture is changing.
The report looked at changes in young adulthood over the last 40 years (1975-2016), comparing their demographic and economic characteristics (ie. relationships, education, work experiences and when they choose to start a family).
“In prior generations, young adults were expected to have finished school, found a job, and set up their own household during their 20s—most often with their spouse and with a child soon to follow,” the report says. “Today’s young adults take longer to experience these milestones. What was once ubiquitous during their 20s is now not commonplace until their 30s.”
That means, parents of millennials, that you’ll be waiting a lot longer to have grandchildren—if you get them at all.
The report shows that more than half (55 percent) of Americans now believe marrying and having children is “not very important in order to become an adult.” Instead, educational and economic accomplishment are now rated as important milestones of adulthood, with 61.5 percent saying that completing formal schooling is extremely important and only 10.4 percent saying that having a child is important to them. If millennials do decide to have children, it is likely to be later in life. In the 1970s, eight in 10 people were married by the time they were 30. Now, it’s not until the age of 45 that eight in 10 have a spouse.
While it’s not quite the same as having a grandchild (OK, it’s totally not the same), the report did find that more young people today live in their parents’ home than in any other arrangement—about one in three, or 24 million, in 2015. (It should be noted, however, that the data does count college dormitories as their parents’ homes.)
The report also revealed other interesting results, such as the fact that only 14 percent of today’s women are homemakers, compared to 43 percent in 1975. You can read the full report here.
“What is clear is that today’s young adults look different from prior generations in almost every regard,” the report concluded. “It comes as no surprise that when parents recall stories of their youth, they are remembering how different their experiences were.”