A new survey shows that parenthood is more important to millennials than marriage.

By Hollee Actman Becker
November 30, 2015
happy young mom with baby
Credit: Shutterstock

First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes the baby in a baby carriage.

Or not.

A new Pew Research study shows that today's 18- to 29-year-olds are placing more importance on being parents, but not necessarily on putting a ring on it.

According to the study, a whopping 52 percent of millennials reported being a good parent as "one of the most important things in life," while only 30 percent thought the same about having a successful marriage

When Generation X was asked the same questions back in 1997, 42 percent placed a high value on parenthood and 35 percent said marriage was important. Which means today's young adults are more concerned with raising a family, less so with tying the knot. They are also slower to marry, with just 22 percent of millenials reporting they are currently bethrothed (for comparison's sake, about 30 percent of Gen Xers were already hitched at the same point in their lives).

Millennials are less likely than adults ages 30 and older to say a child needs a home with both a father and mother, and they are much more accepting when it comes to single and unmarried couple parenthood. Only 34 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds said unmarried couples raising children is a bad thing for society, compared with 45 percent of those ages 30 and older. And while 63 percent of millennials said single motherhood is bad for society, that number increased to 71 percent for adults over the 30 mark.

Still, while the study shows that more than four in 10 millenials think the institution of marriage is becoming obsolete (compared with 37 percent of those ages 30 and older), they remain optimistic abot the future, with 70 percent saying they want to marry some day and 74 percent reporting that they want to have children.

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger and a mom. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and follow her on Twitter at @holleewoodworld

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