A growing proportion of young Americans is saying "I don’t" to marriage. As reported by CNN, today’s young adults are on track to sustain the lowest rates of marriage by age 40 relative to any previous generation. At the current pace, more than 30 percent of Millennial women will remain unmarried by the age of 40, nearly twice the share of their Generation X counterparts according to a recent Urban Institute report.
That could have many economic repercussions, including on birth rates, demand for housing in the suburbs, school construction and total consumption. Research from the University of Michigan and elsewhere indicates that marriage is associated with greater wealth and income. While marriage has become more important to some populations, it has become less relevant to others. More Americans are living together without getting married and some are raising families – they just don’t have the rings to show for it. Marriage rates declined even more drastically than they are now during the Great Recession, when young adults in particular had difficulty landing their first jobs.