Despite having a nearly unlimited pool of dating resources available to them, close to half of Americans say finding a spouse is more difficult for younger generations than it was for their parents.
A newly released analysis from the Pew Research Center — which surveyed 9,676 randomly selected adults from Oct. 18-24, 2021 — found 46% of “younger adults today have it harder than their parents’ generation” when it comes to finding a life partner. On the contrary, a mere 21% believe it is easier and 32% said the likelihood of finding a spouse is about the same between generations.
When broken down along demographic lines, more than half (52%) of U.S. adults ages 18-29 years old said it’s harder for young adults to find spouses, compared to 42% of respondents ages 50 years and older.
Additionally, 53% of women and 52% of men younger than 30 years old said it’s tougher today to find a spouse than it was for their parents.
This data follows reports from 2021 indicating marriage in America is at a historic low.
According to The Hill, the marriage rate in the U.S. throughout much of the 20th century never dipped below eight marriages for every 1,000 people. For context, it bottomed out at eight per 1,000 during the Great Depression and peaked at more than 16 per 1,000 at the end of the second World War.
Since the commencement of the 21st century, the marriage rate in the U.S. has steadily declined. It has decreased from eight per 1,000 people to just six per 1,000 in 2019, marking the lowest it has been since the federal government began keeping marriage records in 1867.
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Some 70 years ago, about 80% of homes were made up of married couples. As of 2020, married couples make up just 49% of households across the country.
In addition to difficulty finding life partners, the Pew data also found that roughly 72% of Americans say young adults in today’s economic climate have a more difficult time saving for the future than their parents did. In addition, 71% of respondents agreed they have a tougher time paying for college and 70% said they struggle more to purchase homes.
When asked specifically of respondents younger than 30 years old, 80% said saving for the future or paying for college is harder on them than it was on their parents. Eighty-four percent said the same of buying houses.
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