To buy a house or find a spouse, most Americans say young adults have it harder than parents: study

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For young adults today, more Americans agree that it’s easier for them than their parents’ generation to stay in touch with friends and family, get into college or find a job. But when it comes to saving for the future, paying for college, buying a house or finding a spouse, most Americans say young adults have it a lot harder.

These findings come from a new Pew Research Center analysis of data collected in a survey of 9,676 randomly selected Americans conducted Oct. 18 to Oct. 24, 2021.

Some 46% of Americans say younger adults today have it harder than their parents’ generation in finding a spouse or partner. Only 21% said it's easier, while about 32% said it’s about the same. There are also gaping differences in how adults younger than 30 and those 50 or older view this challenge.

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More than half, 52%, of adults aged 18-29, say it's harder for young adults today to find a spouse compared to 42% of respondents aged 50 or older.

Just over half of women, 51%, say it’s harder to find a spouse or partner today than their parents, compared with just 40% of men who feel this way. This divide is only apparent among adults 30 and older. Some 53% of women and 52% of men younger than 30 say it’s harder for young adults today to find a spouse or partner than their parents.

Unsplash/Alex Iby
Unsplash/Alex Iby

The challenge in finding a spouse or partner was previously echoed, in part, in a 2019 study called Mismatches in the Marriage Market, by researchers Daniel T. Lichter of Cornell University, Joseph P. Price of Brigham Young University, and Jeffrey M. Swigert of Southern Utah University.

The researchers found that America is facing a significant shortage of highly educated “economically attractive” unmarried men who earn at least $53,000 and have a college degree. And they suggested that the situation could result in unmarried women remaining unmarried or marrying less well-suited partners.

Price explained to The Christian Post at the time that the disparity between the characteristics unmarried women are looking for in a life partner and their available choices have created “a structural mismatch” starkly highlighted in their research.

“The important contribution that our paper made was just to document the structural mismatch and the kind of men on average that women are looking for and the kind of men that are currently available for them," Price said. "So our best guess among the unmarried women in our sample, they are hoping to marry someone whose average income is $53,000, but if you look at the average income among the potential partners they can choose from, it's about $35,000. So this $18,000 gap creates a bit of a structural mismatch.”

The recent analysis from the Pew Research Center highlights how the areas where young adults today face the most significant struggles are connected to their finances. Some 72% of Americans say young adults today have a harder time saving for the future than their parents. Another 71% agree that they also have it harder paying for college, while 70% say young adults have a harder time buying a home.

In discussing all three measures, Americans 18-29 are more likely than older age groups to say it’s harder today to save for the future, pay for college or buy a home.

Some 84% of Americans younger than 30 say buying a home is harder for young adults today, while 80% say the same about saving for the future and paying for college, according to Pew. Respondents older than 30 were much less likely to say the same.

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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