New Pew Research Center Survey on 20 & 30 Somethings

Pew Research

Pew Research Center has a new survey report out that details the impact of the recent recession on the attitudes of a generation of mostly 20- and 30-somethings. Check it out..

Some of the results include:

  • In 2004, about 50 percent of those ages 18 to 34 rated their financial situation highly; in this survey today only about a third rate their financial situation as “excellent” or “good.”
  • In the same age range, about half say they have had to take a job they didn’t want just to pay the bills.

With regard to their personal lives,

  • 24 percent say they have moved back in with their parents after living on their own,
  • 31 percent “have postponed either getting married or having a baby (22 percent say they have postponed having a baby and 20 percent have put off getting married).”

Interesting–from what I read, I don’t see anywhere if they were asked if they ever planned to have children, just that they are “postponing” it, which seems to imply they eventually want them.On one of my facebook pages, I posted a link to an article about the survey and asked if people thought it was mostly economics that is the reason more people in this age range are not having kids. So far a mixed response, but mostly they say the primary reason they are not having them is simply because they don’t want them. Too bad the survey did not seem to address the childfree aspect of the kid decision.

Please weigh in on this–do you think it’s mostly economic, or other reasons?

Despite these and other findings, those in this age group still seem to have some optimism; Kim Parker, Associate Director of Pew’s Social & Demographic Trends project says that “despite the challenges, young adults were more upbeat about the future than older adults: Only 9 percent said they didn’t think they would ever have enough money to live the life they want, a share unchanged from before the recession.”

I hope their optimism is right.

One thought on “New Pew Research Center Survey on 20 & 30 Somethings

  1. I wonder about the way the questionnaire was worded. If the question was “Have you postponed having children?” then a childfree person could answer either way. If I took it literally, I would say no, I never postponed having children, because I never planned to in the first place. No postponement at all.

    This questionnaire assumes some degree of planning. I’m not sure how someone would answer that question if there was an unplanned pregnancy, which apparently half of all pregnancies are. If a man doesn’t want to be a parent, has sex, the birth control fails, and she gets pregnant and decides to keep the baby, what category would that be under? That’s not postponement, even though the man may have wanted a postponement.

    The question assumes some degree of control over the outcome or some level of conscious choice, either of which may be missing in a lot of cases.

    It’s also assumed that a person will get married, and that’s not a fair assumption either.

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