Millennials Changing Marriage

Millennial Families is a short series on the changing realities of the young families we seek to reach and disciple.

Millennials are ages 18 to 34 in 2015. Are they heading to the marriage altar? Let’s take a look at the latest findings.

Fewer Millennials are getting married. 49% of 25-to-34-year-olds have never married.

Millennials are getting married later. In 1960, the median age for marriage was 23 for males and 20 for females. Today it’s 29 and 27.

Millennials are choosing to get married more often in places other than the church. 65% of Boomers (ages 65 & older) got married in a place of worship. Only 39% of married millennials say their wedding ceremony was performed in a place of worship. An example is New York City, where city clerks report they have seen a nearly 50% increase in the number of weddings held in the marriage bureau office.

One reason for this trend is the growing percentage of Americans who have no religious affiliation. In 2007, 16% of Americans said they had no religious affiliation. The percentage has now increased to 35% among Millennials.

Another reason for this trend may be the DIY (do it yourself) spirit of the day. Millennials are opting out of tradition in order to create something new and creative. Often these endeavors aren’t compatible with a church building, but are viable for other venues.

Many Millennials are choosing cohabitation over marriage. Stats show that 48% of women are choosing cohabitation as their first union. This is a 14% increase since 1995. Cohabiting parents now account for over 59% of all births outside of marriage.

Many Millennials did not have a good role model for marriage. Their parents’ 50% divorce rate has not sent a good message.

The church must be a place that models healthy marriages, teaches God’s plan for marriage, provides excellent premarital counseling, invests in young adults and connects young couples to godly, older married couples as mentors.

[research is compiled mostly from pew|photo credit kylesteed]