The report compared data about relationships, education and economic accomplishments of modern Americans ages 18 to 34 to those of the same age group in 1975.
“What is clear is that today young adults look different from prior generations in almost every regard: how much education they have, their work experiences, when they start a family and even who they live with growing up,” the report said. “It comes as no surprise that when parents recall stories from their youth, they are remembering how different their experiences were.”
A large majority of young Americans now believe education and economic accomplishments are extremely important parts of adulthood, and more than half — 55% — believe marrying and having children is not very important.
That mentality differs from the values of 40 years ago. In 1975, 8 in 10 people were married by the time they turned 30. Now, 8 in 10 are married by the time they turn 45.
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Young women are now making their mark, too, the data shows. In the last 40 years, women have made “considerable economic gains” and progress with employment, while their male peers have seen a decline. Only 14% of modern millennial women are homemakers nowadays, compared to 43% of them in 1975.
And that common stereotype of millennials living at their parents’ homes? It’s true. About 1 in 3 young Americans — 24 million in total — live in their parents’ homes. (Though the data does count college dormitories as their parents’ homes.)
“If one theme describes how adulthood has changed over the last 40 years, it is growing complexity,” the report concluded.