Millennial Custodial Parents are More Likely to Be Never Married vs Generation X

Using Census data on custodial parents collected in April 2018, we find that the marital status of millennial custodial parents in the child support program is very different than that of earlier or later generations. In 2018, 56% of millennials were never married compared to 25% of Generation X and 89% of Generation Z and younger parents (Figure 3). Similarly, 17% of millennial custodial parents were divorced compared to 42% of Generation X and 5% of Generation Z and younger parents.

Another way to examine the marital status of custodial parents by generation is to ask the question: Is the marital status of millennial custodial parents different than that of Generation X custodial parents when they were the same age? We find that the answer is yes – the marital status of millennials is significantly different than that of Generation X when they were the same age as millennials. As noted above, 56% of millennial custodial parents were never married in 2018, but far fewer Generation X custodial parents (40%) were never married when they were the same age as millennials (in 2002).4 Also, 17% of millennial custodial parents were divorced in 2018, but 26% of Generation X custodial parents were divorced when they were the same age as millennials (in 2002).

Figure 3. Marital Status of Custodial Parents in the Child Support Program by Generation

millennial custodial parents are more likely to be never married vs generation x

 

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