According to "The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood: 1975–2016," a report released this month by the United States Census Bureau, being a grown up means something very different these days than it did forty years ago. "Marrying and having children," the report states, are not seen as "very important." Instead, young people prioritize "educational and economic accomplishments."
It’s not just ideas that are changing, though. The middle class is shifting altogether. It’s not just getting smaller; it’s also becoming more female.
The Census Bureau reports that men are increasingly taking on salaries both at the top and at the bottom of the income distribution. Ever larger numbers of men — now 41 percent of them, up from 25 percent in 1975 — make under $30,000 a year.