• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • How the Debt and Economy Are Reshaping Millennials’ Life Choices

    America’s sluggish economy and mounting debt threaten to change the very fabric of our country as young people delay major life changes. New polling released by the upstart Generation Opportunity reveals the dramatic consequences facing America as the Millennials grow older.

    A staggering 77 percent of Americans age 18–29 say they have already delayed or will delay a major life change or purchase due to economic factors, according to a survey commissioned by Generation Opportunity with the polling company, Inc./WomanTrend. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

    Millennials — whom my colleague Bill Beach and I call the Debt-Paying Generation — will have enormous impact on the country. John Della Volpe, director of polling at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, projects that Millennials will make up 38 percent of the electorate by 2020.

    The decisions they make today should raise alarm with all Americans. According to the Generation Opportunity poll results:

    • 44 percent will delay buying a home;
    • 28 percent will delay saving for retirement;
    • 27 percent will delay paying off student loans or other debt;
    • 27 percent will delay going back to school/getting more education or training;
    • 26 percent will delay changing jobs/cities;
    • 23 percent will delay starting a family; and
    • 18 percent will delay getting married.

    In presentations Beach and I have done in several cities over the past year (see below), he makes the point that these decision to delay purchases or make life changes will have a profound impact on the economy in the years to come. If young people delay marriage, they’ll buy homes later, won’t make major purchases, and will likely have fewer children.

    One factor causing concern among Millenials stems from their deep dissatisfaction toward their current employment. According to the poll, just 52 percent are satisfied with their current jobs.

    It’s led to overall angst with the current leadership in Washington — including President Obama, who captured two-thirds of the youth vote in the 2008 presidential election. That appeal is beginning to fade: For example, just 31 percent approve of Obama’s handling of unemployment.

    There’s a silver lining for conservatives, however. The survey showed that 76 percent would like to see federal spending reduced, and 69 percent want the federal government to make sacrifices right away.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to How the Debt and Economy Are Reshaping Millennials’ Life Choices

    1. sam says:

      Default an ithe debt and be dne with it. Just because the government is bankrupt, does not mean the people are bankrupt. Whats your judgement?

    2. the Raleigh Mortgage Guy says:

      So if ou read this correctly;because of the depth & width of this recession (arguably longer and wider due to governments attempt a manipulation of our economy) we now have an entire generation who have decided to postpone the American dream!

    3. Entropy says:

      Postpone the American dream ? Starting with those of us in Gen X on down, we do not believe in what is called the American dream. The facts all around us say the dream is over. That is reality as we percieve it.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.