US millennial women face declining well-being: suicides, debt, living costs rise

Young women’s well-being and prospects have substantially improved over the past few decades; however, this trend appears to be coming to an end.

According to a report by a think organization based in Washington, DC, the group has experienced its first reversal of progress since the 1930s.

The Population Reference Bureau discovered that the well-being index for millennial women fell to 94 out of 100, the first time since the Silent Generation reported a score of 45, a six percent decline from the previous cohort.

Generation X, the preceding age cohort, documented a well-being score of 100, while Baby Boomers occupied the 84th position.

Several factors contributed to the decline among millennials aged 25 to 34, according to the report. One such factor is the escalating maternal mortality rate, which is three times greater than that of their parents.ย 

Furthermore, millennials experienced the first upward trend in suicide rates since the turn of the 20th century.

Challenges Facing Millennial Women’s Well-being

The survey defined millennial women as those born between 1981 and 1999, with an emphasis on those 25 to 34.

According to experts, the decline in the well-being of young millennials is due to a combination of factors, including social media usage, which has led to a sense of isolation and disconnection among many, and rising inflation that has increased the cost of necessities.

According to them, restrictions on abortion accessโ€”with twenty-one states barring the procedure in whole or in partโ€”increased political polarization and necessitated changes in social interactions; these factors were also contributing factors.

The authors stated in the report, “These factors debunk the notion that young women of today are performing better than previous generations.”

“At least for the time being, that assurance is pitifully unfulfilled.”

Researchers examined data on the health and well-being of millions of American women published by government agencies for the report. 

They examined each generation from the time when women were 25 to 34 years old.

The vast majority of the data came from databases managed by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Comparative Analysis of Well-being Across Generations

A comparative analysis was conducted between the data of millennials and that of the following generations at the same age:

  • Generation X (individuals born 1965 to 1980)
  • Baby Boomers (those born 1946 to 1964)
  • The Silent Generation (1928 to 1945)

An examination was conducted on fourteen variables, comprising maternal mortality, the rate of incarceration, the gender pay disparity, and the proportion of female employees in high-earning professions.

Diana Elliott, vice president of the PRB’s US programs, stated, “To achieve their generation’s version of the American Dream, young women are entering the workforce and earning college degrees at record rates.”

However, numerous opportunities are being impeded from being fully realized due to structural obstacles to health and safety.

The cumulative impact of heightened suicide and homicide rates, inadequate access to healthcare services such as secure abortion, and diminished health and safety advancements of prior generations is particularly pronounced among women of color.

According to the report, the maternal mortality rate has increased by 300 percent over the past six decades. It rose from 7.5 per 100,000 births for Baby Boomers to 30.4 per 100,000 births for Millennials.

According to researchers, this may be the result of abortion restrictions, which impede access to vital care, and hospital access issues, which affect nearly eight million women of reproductive age who lack health insurance.

Health Trends and Challenges Among Millennial Women in the US

The US has one of the poorest maternal healthcare systems in the world, and it has worsened since 2000.

Additionally, the data revealed that the suicide rate among millennial women was seven per 100,000 individuals in the cohort.

This marked the initial occurrence of an increase since the Silent Generation.

The rate peaked at 8.3 per 100,000 for the Silent Generation, which includes the ancestors of millennials. By contrast, it fell to six for the Baby Boomers and 4.4 for Generation X.

Millennial homicide rates rose to 4.5 per 100,000 women, along with suicide rates.

This represented a marginal increase compared to Generation X, during which the rate had declined to 4.3 per 100,000.

Positive Trends Amidst Declining Health Patterns

Positive indicators were identified by researchers, including a rise in the percentage of millennial women attaining a bachelor’s degree; it reached 44 percent, which is three times the 12 percent documented in the Silent Generation.

Additionally, a marginal increase was observed in the percentage of high-paying positions occupied by women.

According to the researchers, the report emphasized the identical patterns that were identified in the preliminary report for 2017. Those patterns indicated that the improving instances of each generation reversed.

Wellness is declining as US life expectancy falls for the first time since World War II.

The CDC said last month that 2021 Americans had a 76.4-year life expectancy.

In comparison, it was anticipated that the mean lifespan of a child born in 2014 would be 79 years.

According to the CDC, COVID-19 was the primary cause of the declining trend.

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