The Millennial generation certainly has its own ideas about marriage, and, in many ways, they are not like those of their parents. An interesting shift is taking place in the way younger people perceive marriage and its importance. Throughout the last 60 years, several trends have arisen. People, in general, are waiting longer to get married, divorce is more common, and couples are having fewer children. During the 1950s, 75 percent of women in their early 20s were married whereas only 50 percent are now.
It is true that young people are waiting longer to get married and having fewer children, however, the trend we are experiencing today with is not unlike the time before the post-war baby boom. The average age at which couples get married today is only slightly higher than the average age of those in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
What has changed since the 50s? Over the last several decades, there has been a dramatic shift in many aspects of American society. Women are more invested in their careers, there is less pressure to have a traditional family, and debt from student loans are all factors that contribute to the postponement of marriage. Furthermore, it is more socially acceptable to have children before getting married than it was during the much more conservative 1950s.