If a new study is right, many Millennials will require full-time care much earlier in life than Baby Boomers. In fact, many of them seem to require it now.
According to the new study from Bowling Green State University, Millennials are delaying adulthood to an extent unheard of in previous generations. Compared to young Boomers of the same age, fewer Millennials are married, fewer are living on their own, and fewer own their own homes or live with biological children.
Comparing 1980 Census with 2015 American Community Survey data, the study found that while two-thirds of Boomers age 25-34 were married, only two-fifths of Millennials are; the rate of living at home has more than doubled; home ownership among Millennials is down by almost 20 percent; and those living with their own children has decreased by over ten percent.
Optimists, however, could point to two seemingly positive findings of the study: Just as many Millennials had worked in the past week compared with Boomers, and far more Millennials have college degrees than Boomers.
But the optimists might be overly optimistic here (that's why they’re called optimists). Maybe more Millennials than Boomers are working because many more Boomer women were at home and out of the job market altogether, artificially depressing the Boomer job numbers. More of them were married and they were more likely to be homemakers.
And, yes, maybe Millennials have more bachelor’s degrees, but the people who think this indicates progress should go back and contrast what a bachelor’s degree signified before 1980 and what it signifies now. Now that everyone must have a bachelor’s degree, it has become, as many have pointed out, the new high school diploma.
This study is just one more indication that younger people are more coddled, less accomplished, more irresponsible, less goal-oriented, more needy, less independent, softer, and lazier than prior generations.
One thing’s for sure: No one’s going to be calling Millennials the “Greatest Generation.”
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Martin Cothran is the editor of Classical Teacher magazine, published by Memoria Press, and the director of the Classical Latin School Association.