Countless millennial trends have been subject to criticism over the last decade. Whether it be for their love of avocados, consumer habits or perceived lack of work ethic, older generations love to blame millennials for ruining their traditions.
However, there may be one millennial trend baby boomers could learn a thing or two from. While divorce rates for boomers continue to increase even as they enter their senior years, millennials are staying married. By being more selective about their partners, waiting longer to tie the knot or skipping marriage altogether, millennials seem to be changing marriage and divorce for the better.
They’re getting divorced less
Experts believe that millennials are the driving force behind the declining U.S. divorce rate, which has dropped a staggering 24% since 1980. Often children of divorce themselves, millennials fear divorce more than the earlier generations. Millennials take the time to find the right partner, but they are also signing more prenups before marriage to ensure they are protected in the event of divorce.
They’re getting married later
Millennials have a different set of priorities than previous generations. Rather than marry in their early twenties like their parents, the median age of first marriage in the U.S. today is 27 for women and 29 for men. Often burdened with student loan debt, many Millennials prioritize achieving financial stability and success before getting hitched. They’re also waiting 4.9 years longer on average before marrying their partner.
They’re not marrying at all
In addition to lowering the divorce rate, millennials are also lowering marriage rates. An estimated 25% of millennials are unlikely ever to marry. In 2017, the marriage rate in the U.S. decreased to half of the adult population from 72% of adults in 1960. Millennials don’t find marriage as necessary a milestone as past generations did.
Only time will tell if millennials remain successful in matrimony, but for now, it seems they have learned from the previous generations’ missteps. By putting off marriage until they are older with less financial stress or skipping wedding altogether, millennials may have unlocked the key to lasting commitment.