1 in 7 high school freshmen from 2009 don’t plan to work at age 30.

Fun things you learn reading longitudinal studies with a sample of 20,000 students.

Other fun things:

3/4 of those freshmen enrolled in postsecondary education between 2009 and 2016, but only 60% did so within 4 months of graduation.

Only 10% went to a private nonprofit 4 year school.  25% went to a 2 year public college, and 30% went to a public 4 year school. 7% had an AA, certificate or a BA/BS by 2016.

1/6 of those 2009 freshmen were not enrolled in postsecondary school and did not have an associate’s, certificate or BA/BS as of 2016.  This represented about a quarter of the 3/4 who went on to postsecondary at all.

Given the pool of freshmen, this is a description of what happened to most of the very youngest Millennials.


45% of SAHMs are in households earning 75k or more annually (2018 update).

And of that number, 2/3  are still in households earning 100k/yr or more.  Those numbers have been pretty stable over the last decade.  The percentage has gone up because there’s been a further decline in married parents while the total number of SAHMs was essentially unchanged from the earlier data.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2018 Annual Social and Economic Supplement

What average salary should men and women be making to get married?

Apparently the answer is “20k more than the woman you plan to wife up”.

The gap between married women and married men’s average earnings is about 20k regardless of actual earnings until men are in their 30s, when married men’s average goes up into 40k more than the married women average through their 30s.

So guys who are married in their early 20s average 30k, but girls married in their early 20s average 10k.  Mid20s, 50k/30k, respectively.  Mid30s, 70k/50k.

Another way to look at it is that single men never boost their earnings out of the range they share with married women (for both single men and married women, average income peaks around 50k/yr through 30s and 40s).  Men who want to marry all start out higher earning, even among men who marry by 20.

So the single guys who remain at each stage of average income are the ones who just aren’t making the financial leaps upward.  Single women have it even worse, they don’t hit that 50k peak until their 50s, and are down in the 40k range through most of their working years, below married women and single men.

One interesting set of interpretations is that married women on average expect married men to be the ones to take income over benefits and generous leave while they expect to not have to choose and thus don’t.  And men who want to marry won’t if they aren’t pretty confident they can decisively earn 60% or more of the household income.

Data reference is from here, covering people who were born in the 1990s as the youngest end of the spectrum.

What is the birth dearth worth?

The latest provisional birth data is out and the results are an ongoing decline in total births at all but the oldest ages (mostly 40+, which is barely any of the total babies).

I have no idea when I can get around to it in more detail but Gen X (my “generation”) beat the spread and had more babies than their initial TFR predicted, which is pretty interesting.  Also cohort analysis shows some specific cohorts within Gen X and older-Millennial are having more higher-order births (3, 4, 5th, etc) than  their fellow cohort-sisters.

So on the one hand a few small groups that someone eventually should look at more closely are having more children than expected.  On the other hand, the big-picture of fertility is ongoing declines in baby-having at every stage of fertile-life.

So what is this ongoing decline in new life worth?  What is it worth to the ever-shrinking  pool of married parents?  And what’s making a handful of people double down and have marginal additional children at all?