America’s 30-Year-Olds, 1975 vs. 2015

How has life changed for young adults since the groovy, stagflation-heavy mid-1970s? It’s an interesting question — and who better to ask than the U.S. Census Bureau?

Census data kept since that time sheds light on the changing fortunes of the 30 year old population.

For instance, 90% of 30 year olds lived on their own in 1975. Only 70% did last year. A full 56% of 1975’s 30 year olds were homeowners, as opposed to just 33% today.

In 1975, 76% of 30 year olds were living with a child, and 89% were in the “ever married” category.

Last year, just 47% of Americans aged 30 were living with children, and just 57% were – or had ever been – married.

Some stats have improved, though: 90% of today’s 30 year olds have at least a high school diploma, as opposed to 80% in 1975.

Eighty one percent of 30 year olds in 2015 were in the labor force vs. 71% back then. In 1975, a full 71% of 30 year olds were in the “moderate income” category, as opposed to just 55% today.

Whenever someone says, “the more things change, the more they stay the same” you can rattle off a few of these stats. Clearly, things have changed.

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