The life milestones that once signaled success and prosperity no longer ring true for today's young Americans. Rather, traveling the world, volunteering overseas, and amassing a 10K Instagram following in the process have trumped owning a home, purchasing a car, and acquiring wealth in the minds of America’s largest generation to date.
While there's been many a millennial think piece regarding our unique preoccupation with experiences over possessions, actual numbers now substantiate this cultural phenomenon. According to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the 30-year-olds of today are less likely to live on their own, get married, own a home, or live with a child than the 30-year-olds of 1975, each by a pretty significant margin. In 1975, 90 percent of 30-year-olds lived on their own, 89 percent had married, 76 percent lived with a child, and 56 percent owned a home. Today, just 70 percent live on their own, 57 percent have ever been married, 47 percent live with a child, and 33 percent own a home.
Whether this is a good or a bad thing completely depends on the way you look at it. On one hand, some studies have shown that children born to older mothers live healthier, more stable lives. On the other, I think that everyone can agree that it's best to move out of your parents' house by age 30 (preferably before). Many experts attribute this stunted adolescence to student loan debt and the rising cost of college—it's objectively more difficult to get a jumpstart on life when you enter the "real world" with $40,000 in debt. Opinions aside, it seems that we're redefining the ideal "American dream," and likely confusing our elders in the process.
Thinking about moving out? Shop this book on living on your own and share your insight below.