The April 23rd edition of USA Today had the article, “Generation Y faces some steep financial hurdles.” Also known as the Millennial Generation, they include the more than 50 million born from the 1980s to 2000. According to the article, they may be best remembered for “whether they can overcome the dire financial straits that plague many of them,” with their plight “as much created by members’ pre-recession personal finance habits as by the misfortune of coming of age as the recession took hold in 2007.”
A recent report by Demos, a public policy research and advocacy think tank indicates that…..stagnant wages, job insecurity, lack of health care insurance, increase in basic expenses, their soaring debt, and minimal savings have “jeopardized the economic security of an entire generation.”
According to the Pew Research Center, about 37% have been underemployed or out of work during the recession, “the highest share among the age group in more than three decades.” Only 58% pay monthly their bills on time, says the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). Yet 25% say they are spending more than last year according to the NFCC survey.
While all of this is happening, in my communications with the childfree 20 somethings part of this generational group I have noticed that many seem very sure about their decision not to have children. Often when I have talked with 20 somethings in the past, they make have this feeling, but are leaving the door open for awhile to see how their feelings might change over time. Those that I talk with today about having kids often seem more sure, and even seek out sterilization because they are sure they want to close the door now.
I wonder: with society’s increased acceptance of the childfree choice with every generation (while this might be just a bit with each generation, I do think it’s true overall), does it help younger adults make this decision for sure sooner in life? How does the economic climate they are in and face in the future influence their feelings about having children? In other words, will we see an increase in birthrates of one or none per woman with this generation? We should find out with some data coming out from the census in June…stay tuned.
In the meanwhile, what do you think?