Today’s young adults are on track to have the lowest marriage rates by age 40 compared to any previous generations. If the current pace continues, more than 30 percent of millennial women will remain unmarried by age 40, nearly twice the share of their Gen X counterparts according to a recent Urban Institute study as reported by CNN. Yet this development is not entirely unexpected given the importance of marriage has been diminishing for years; more Americans are living together and raising families, without getting married.
A study by USA Network and reported by Time magazine revealed almost half of Millennials (43 percent, and higher among the youngest subset) would support a marriage model that involved a two-year trial — at which point the union could be either formalized or dissolved, no divorce or paperwork required. Furthermore, 21 percent said they’d give the “presidential” method a try, whereby marriage vows last for four years but after eight you can elect to choose a new partner.
“This is a generation that is used to this idea that everything is in beta, that life is a work in progress, so the idea of a beta marriage makes sense,” the study’s author, Melissa Lavigne-Delville explains. Whatever you want to say about Millennials’ inability to commit, the vast majority (69 percent, according to Pew) of Millennials still want to get married. They simply need a little extra time.