Home / Blog / Article

October 18 2014

Millennials Still Want Marriage

Vicki E. Alger

Dire predictions about young people no longer wishing to marry abound. A recent Pew Research Center  report ominously concluded that record shares of Americans have never been married, and that up to one-quarter of Millennials may never marry.

But Rachel Burger challenges those conclusions in her recent Townhall.com article:

… Pew’s assumptions ignore core truths about Millennials’ views towards marriage and their life-long chances of getting married.

Specifically, the world is changing, with more women earning college and advanced degrees than men and more likely to be employed. Meanwhile, more men than women report wanting to have children. But here’s where Pew gets it wrong, according to Burger:

Millennials are, surprisingly, creatures of tradition. In spite of the onslaught of reports that young people are all about hookup culture, research has shown the exact opposite: Millennials prefer dates and relationships to meaningless sex. And what’s the ultimate conclusion of a successful and happy relationship? Marriage. …

Money is certainly playing a big role in why Millennials aren’t marrying. Total student loan debt is well above $1 trillion and reports of underemployment are not exaggerated. …

But, again, that explains why Millennials are not marrying now, not in the future. As opportunities for success continue to unfold for Millennials and student loans slowly get paid off, there is no guarantee that economic hardship will continue to hold young people back from marriage. …

The claim that a quarter of Millennials will not get married ignores long-standing cultural traits pervasive in this generation. Millennial women, while outshining their male peers now, are not guaranteed to do so for the next four decades — especially when they are more likely to drop out of the workforce should they become mothers. Men still have plenty of opportunity to catch up, get ahead, and attract future mates. And for Millennials looking for their one true love, they’re fine waiting until they’re thirty or even forty years old. 

Burger’s insights underscore the importance of expanding education options at all stages of life, along with a strong economy to foster innovative, flexible job opportunities that contribute to a healthy work/life balance.

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
Follow us