The millennial generation (those born between 1980 and the mid-2000s) face more economic challenges than parents even 10 or 20 years ago, according to an April 2015 research study released by the research firm Young Invincibles. The report, titled “Finding Time: Millennial Parents, Poverty, and Rising Costs,” revealed several key findings describing the financial challenges Millennial parents face.
The report found the following facts about Millennials:
- Twenty percent of Millennial parents live in poverty, the highest amount in more than 25 years.
- Young parents are twice as likely to work midnight shifts as non-parents of the same age.
- Thirty percent of Millennials have children.
- Millennial parents tend to have 25 percent more debt than their non-parent contemporaries.
- Childcare and education costs represent 18 percent of the total cost of raising a child born in 2013 compared to 2 percent of the total cost of raising a child in 1960.
Putting the numbers together
According to a report from the Council of Economic Advisers, as of 2013, Millennials made up one-third of the total United States population, were more educated than previous generations, yet often struggled to find jobs to make ends meet. Millennials valued activities and actions that enhanced quality of life—they focused on family, friends, and enjoyed making a positive impact on their communities.
According to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, parents will spend an average of $245,340 for a child born in 2013. This number varies based on the family’s income, among other things. A middle-income family will spend the greatest amount of money on housing (30 percent), followed by childcare and education (18 percent), and food (16 percent).
The report from Young Invincibles offered some solutions for Millennials struggling to “have it all”: the job, the family, and financial security. Crucial to the success of today’s young families is the cost of childcare. Convincing college campuses to offer low-cost childcare is one way to keep students in school after starting a family. Requiring companies to offer paid maternity and paternity leave is another way to bolster the economic success of Millennials by supporting them in their efforts to be effective and productive working parents.
- One in five members of the Millennial generation with children live in poverty—the highest number in 25 years.
- Millennial parents have more debt than non-parents, often due to repayment of student loans, difficulty securing a job, and paying for childcare.
- A key to the economic success of young families is affordable childcare.