Living with parents, no kids, less money: How life has changed for 30-year-olds


Attention Minnesota 30-year-olds: Are you a married parent who doesn't live with your parents?

If so, you're in the minority, as a release from the Census Bureau reveals just how much life has changed for America's 30 year olds over the past four decades.

In 1975, just over 70 percent of 30-year-olds had married, had a child and didn't live with their parents.

Last year, only one in three American 30-year-olds could say the same.

The above infographic from the Census Bureau shows the percentage of 30-year-olds who had their own place dropped from 90 percent to 70 percent between 1975 and 2015.

Almost nine in 10 had been married in 1975, but that's down to 57 percent now. And even fewer live with a child – down to 47 percent from 76 percent.

Today's 30-year-olds are more educated though, with 90 percent having at least a high school diploma compared to 80 percent in 1975. And they're also more likely to be working, up to 81 percent from 71 percent in 1975.

But the growth of the wealth gap and the remnants of the financial crisis are taking a toll on incomes, with only 55 percent of the Class of 2015 earning a "moderate income" – defined as 66-200 percent of the U.S. median income (which was $51,939 in 2014).

In 1975, some 71 percent of 30-year-olds had a moderate income.

This could well have an impact on home ownership levels too, with just a third of 30 year olds owning a home in 2015, down from 56 percent 40 years ago.

Reasons for the changes?

The Census Bureau doesn't speculate as to the reason for the changes, but there's plenty of evidence already out there that explains much of it.

The decline in marriage among 30-year-olds – which in turn impacts the likelihood of having children – is unsurprising in Minnesota considering the state's marriage rate is soon to drop below 50 percent for the first time in history.

This was reported last December, with factors involved including more women putting their careers before marriage, while some younger men choosing to delay marriage for financial reasons.

This in turn can have an affect on home ownership. Pew Research Center revealed in May that Millennials deciding not to settle down with a partner is a major reason why so many of them aren't entering the housing market.

Its study found that only 31.6 percent of young adults lived with a spouse or partner in a home they own in 2014, lower than the 32.1 percent who live with their parents.

The rest live with another family member (22 percent) or a non-relative, or head up a household in which they live alone (14 percent).

"This turn of events is fueled primarily by the dramatic drop in the share of young Americans who are choosing to settle down romantically before age 35," the research says.

In terms of income, this Washington Post piece shows the relative prosperity enjoyed in the U.S. between 1989 and 2013 (financial crisis excepted) was mainly skewed towards older people rather than younger.

In 1989, the data says, older families had 7.6 times as much median wealth as young families. By 2013, it had grown to 14.7 times.

Part of the reason for this could be that younger Americans are more diverse than older generations, which leads to more race and ethnicity-based disadvantages. It's also suggested that older people invest more wisely, carry less debt and are "more cushioned" against financial shocks than Millennials, the Washington Post says.

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