Today’s Young Adults Don’t Hit Traditional Milestones

By Gary Rotstein
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Young people postponing marriage is just one of many long-term trends highlighted by national statistics in a recent U.S. Census Bureau report.

PITTSBURGH

Shenay Jeffrey, a 28-year-old Point Breeze resident in a committed relationship for the past two years, is already six years older than the age at which her mother got married.

No move toward wedlock is imminent for the college graduate who holds a Carnegie Mellon University master’s degree in public management. Instead, she plans to move with her partner, Brandon Jennings, into a Highland Park apartment this summer, a cohabitation choice that’s increased in popularity nationally for decades and will help both of their finances.

The idea of a binding, long-term commitment, especially one that customarily involves children? That’s taking a back seat to other pursuits, such as her consideration of applying to law school while Jennings completes a Ph.D. program at the University of Pittsburgh.

“We’re both at a stage of our lives where marriage is not the most feasible, and we have a lot of individual goals we want to accomplish first,” said Jeffrey, currently employed in a Pitt student volunteer program. “I want to be set financially, and him as well, before we get into that big of a decision.”

This postponement of the age of marriage by young people compared to prior decades, partly spurred by improved educational and economic status in their 20s for women such as Jeffery, is just one of many long-term trends highlighted by national statistics in a recent U.S. Census Bureau report.

The April report, “The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood: 1975-2016,” puts numbers to some often-discussed aspects of today’s millennial generation, ones that may inspire either frustration, sympathy or nodding approval from their baby boomer parents, who themselves often broke with their parents’ traditions. Examining census and other survey data about the 18-to-34 age group, the report notes:

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