Another year, another study about Millennials doing something differently than the generation before them. It may come as a shock for some people that the number of young women planning to have children dropped from 78 percent to 42 percent in just 20 years, according to Stewart Friedman, author of the study and professor of management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. But as a Millennial, these results don't surprise me.
Millennial students were steeling themselves to enter jobs where a full-time commitment means working 72 hours a week. A majority of Millennials in the study said they wanted to have children someday; they simply didn't see how they could make it work.
The median age of marriage is at a historic high (27 for women, 29 for men). Even though most Americans without a college degree have kids before marriage, those with a degree still put childbearing after marriage, according to the National Marriage Project's 2013 "Not Yet" report. Dr. Friedman surveyed graduating students for his study, so we need to take these facts into consideration. For what it's worth, I can tell you that when my friends and I graduated college four years ago, planning a family definitely wasn't in the "five-year plan."
But before we get all anxious about the potential population decline ruining the economy (and decreasing our readership), let's take a step back and think about what these results tell us -- not much. Just because you don't plan on something, doesn't mean it won't happen. I didn't plan on getting a stain on my new white blouse today, but it happened anyway. You probably didn't plan on reading this post either (gotcha!).
In fact, according to a study published in 2011, 49 percent of pregnancies are unplanned. UNPLANNED! Plus, people change and evolve, especially during their twenties. So please, digest these statistics and remember that we Millennials are just debt-ridden singles who will get there (don't worry, Mom!). We just need a little time.
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