Recently released data shows that Millennials are getting married later and, in growing numbers, may not get married at all, according to a statistical study by Olin College Professor of Computer Science Allen Downey.
Downey used data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), administered by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), to analyze the age at first marriage for women and men in the U.S., broken down by decade of birth. He then ran projections for Millennials as they age. The results suggest that women born in the 1980s and 1990s are not just getting married later; they are on pace to stay unmarried at rates substantially higher than previous generations.
"To me the most surprising result is for women in their early thirties," Downey said. "Between ages 30 and 34, their marriage rate has been close to zero, and much lower than in previous generations."
In addition, Downey found:
1) The fraction of women unmarried at age 23 has increased from 25 percent for women born in the 40s to 81 percent for women born in the 90s.
2) The fraction of women unmarried at age 33 has increased from 9 percent for women born in the 40s to 38 percent for women born in the 80s, and is projected to be 47 percent for women born in the 90s.
3) The fraction of women unmarried at age 43 has increased from 8 percent for women born in the 40s to 17 percent for women born in the 70s, and is projected to be 36% for women born in the 1990s.
Of course it is hard to predict what will happen in the next 20 years, but at this point Millennials are lagging far behind previous generations. Unless marriage rates increase drastically and soon, more than a third of them will never marry, according to Downey's analysis.
For men, the picture is not much different. At age 23, the fraction of men who have never married has increased from 66 percent for men born in the 1950s to 88 percent for men born in the 1990s (81 percent for women).
At age 33, the fraction of unmarried men has increased from 27 percent to 44 percent, and is projected to go to 50 percent (47 percent for women).
At age 43, the fraction of unmarried men is about 17 percent for men born in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, but is expected to increase to 30 percent for men born in the 1990s (36 percent for women).
The full study, with data from generations going back to the 1940s, can be found on Downey's blog Probably Overthinking It: http://allendowney.blogspot.ca/2016/10/millennials-are-still-not-getting.html
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