Bad news for young singles — and markets that depend on healthy consumer spending. According to a new report, a young person’s unwed status could be an ominous indicator of their inability to buy a home, let alone amass wealth.
According to a new Urban Institute study, an unprecedented number of millennials (or young adults under 40) will remain single compared with previous generations, reports CNNMoney.com. For instance, more than 30 percent of millennial women are on track to remain single by age 40, which is “nearly twice the share of their Gen X counterparts,” writes CNNMoney.com.
The findings have significant economic repercussions. The study concludes the longer young people remain unmarried, the less likely they will be able buy homes, spend money and play significant roles as economic movers and shakers. Marriage increases the prospects of doing all three, one expert tells CNNMoney.
“The evidence shows that getting married increases wealth and income,” says Pamela Smock, a sociology professor at the University of Michigan.
One reason cited for the preponderance of young singles is that many are putting off marrying to establish themselves financially, while others are forgoing vows, choosing to raise families without a wedding ring or marriage license.
No surprise that marriage rates for millennials plummeted during the recession “when young adults had a tough time landing their first jobs and other Americans found themselves collecting unemployment checks,” according to CNNMoney.
The study finds that “only 69.3% of women will marry if the post-recession rate continues, while 76.8 percent will if the rate returns to pre-downturn levels.” For men, the number registers at 65% and 72.6%, respectively.
Notes CNN Money: “The growing schism in marriage rates could exacerbate income inequality in this country, dividing society into still mostly married ‘haves’ and increasingly single ‘have nots.’