The media has given younger generations a bad reputation by overhyping click-bait myths. Young people don't often get the accolades they deserve, except when promising new statistics hit the news. It turns out that Millennials and Gen Z-ers get divorced less, but might not be happier in the long run.
As with anything in life, many complexities lead to this result. Learning about what influences a generation's overall happiness shows people how to make lasting solutions for some of the biggest problems threatening humanity's future. Even just 20 or 30 years ago, people viewed relationships and marriage much differently. It was more socially acceptable to settle down quickly, but it locked people into marriages with partners they barely knew.
Millennials and Gen Z-ers took note of their parents' unhappiness and reversed the situation. Now, it's widely expected for people to date for years and even live together before considering a wedding. Young people have more time to learn about what they want from a partner, so they're more likely to feel fulfilled by whoever they choose to marry.
Recent research proves that this switch is a promising trend. The American Sociological Association (ASA) recently published a report that analyzed U.S. divorce statistics. Since 2008, divorce rates fell for more recent marriages, pointing toward a continuation of this decline in the future. However, even with promising love lives, young people don't feel the same happiness as their parents or grandparents.
Younger generations still coming of age have to fight new hardships they have little control over. It makes it difficult for anyone to find lasting happiness when they battle these varying factors.
Factor 1: Burnt Out Workspaces
Young people who earn a college degree often have to work multiple jobs to meet their living costs. Since the federal government raised the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour, it has decreased in value by 14.8 percent because of inflation and rising living costs. That's why 43 percent of millennials fit the category of workaholics with intense amounts of stress, compared to 29 percent of older generations.
Factor 2: Student Debt Overload
Another recent study found that three out of every four Gen Z students will graduate with student loan debt, forcing them into jobs they don't enjoy just to pay the bills. Even though wages haven't increased, young people spend more than double what older generations did to attend college.
It's difficult to feel content with life when a hefty chunk of each paycheck will forever go toward paying off student loans. It's also harder for young people to consider the costs of divorce when they don't have any money left over after monthly bills.
Factor 3: Climate Change Stress
Climate change stress, otherwise known as overwhelming eco-anxiety, is pervasive among young people. They worry that the future they pictured is disappearing due to rising global temperatures. The years they devoted to their education or marriages won't mean anything if rising sea levels and devastating weather events prevent them from living long lives.