Research Shows Millennials Are In No Hurry To Walk Down The Aisle

by | Jun 16, 2015

Millennials, adults ages 18 to 34 in 2015, are set to become the nation’s largest living generation this year. As their percentage of the population grows, more of this Generation Y group will reach the prime marriage age, yet new research shows they are in no hurry to wed.

According to Demographic Intelligence, a population forecasting firm, millennials are showing lackluster interest in getting hitched as they age, and, as a result, the marriage rate is expected to fall to its lowest level on record in 2016. The millennial generation is so large that the country is going to have more people of prime marriage age in the next five years than that of any other time in U.S. history. With that immense group, an upswing in marriage rates would be expected, but that is not the case.

The Economics Of Staying Single

Marriage is going out of style and that’s an economic problem. A decline in the marriage rate does not bode well for a fragile economy. Historically, when there are more household formations, America’s economy sees greater financial success. Two people meet, get married, buy a home, have children, and buy more items. That activity infuses a lot of money into the economy with construction spending, home improvements, and every other product or service a new family needs.

As more millennials choose to live at home, and no new household formations are created, less money goes into the housing industry, and an economic recovery moves slower.

Researchers cite reasons for millennials’ delay of marriage:

  • Economics, education and options create delay. According to University of Maryland sociologist, Paul Cohen, in 1960, fewer than 8 percent of women and 13 percent of men married for the first time at age 30 or older. Today, nearly 33 percent of women and more than 40 percent of men marry for the first time at age 30 or older.
  • Americans are more secular and less religious. Fewer Americans consider themselves Christian — a 78 percent to 71 percent drop between 2007 and 2014, according to the Pew Research Center. Their studies also show an increase of 7 percentage points of atheists, agnostics or those of no faith in the same timeframe.
  • Millennials have choices. In the past, couples living together or having children outside of marriage was highly scrutinized and met with disdain. Today, cohabitation rates are on the rise and more individuals are choosing to have children without a marriage license.

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