Pew Research Center recently put out some interesting numbers regarding Generation Y-ers, or the “Millennial Generation,” those ages 18-29. Here’s some highlights:

  • Millennials are “slower to marry” than previous generations. About 1 in 5 (22%) Millennials are currently married.  When Gen Xers were the same age about 3 in 10 were married. When Baby boomers were the same age, 4 in 10 were married.  When the now “Silent Generation” (adults 65 and older) was were the same age half were married.
  • Out of wedlock births are higher than the previous generation–51% of births to Millennial mothers were women who are not married (2008 data).
  • Interestingly, although 4 in 5 are not married, and over half of Millennial mothers have had a child, 63% of  Millennials think that single motherhood is “bad for society.”
  • Parenthood numbers overall: Declined. 2010 numbers indicate that 36% of women had ever had children, down from 41% in 1998.
  • How many Millennials eventually want children? 74% of those who have been married and have no children, say they eventually want children; 73% of those who have never been married and have no children say they eventually want children.
  • How many say they never want children? 7%

While these and other data in the report are worth checking out, I have to say what would be more interesting is to be able to track the Y-ers over time.  People are waiting longer and longer to have children, with a recent spike of women in their early 40s having their first child. So a few of  my questions include:

How many of those who thought they wanted children when they were 29 and under eventually actually had children, at what age and how many? How many who thought they wanted them ending up not having them by choice, and what were the reasons?

These kind of questions inspired me to do a longitudinal study of childfree 20-somethings. I started the study last summer.  Once a year for 10 years I am going to survey a group of 40 childfree women, ages 20-29 now.  I want to track their childfree choice over time.

I would love to do the same for childfree guys in the same age range. I am still looking for childfree men in their 20s, so if you are interested in participating, let me know~!

As far as the Pew report, 20-somethings out there and those that know them, does the data reflect what you see out there? Why or why not?

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