Millennial women losing ground, new study says

Report shows decline in 6 areas for well-being of young women


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s more difficult today to be a young woman than in previous generations, according to a new study from the Population Reference Bureau.

The report shows women ages 16 to 34 are losing ground in areas such as high-wage and high-tech jobs.

The study compared women of Generation X to Millennials in 14 areas, showing a decline for overall well-being for Millennial women, particularly in six areas:

  • Poverty rate
  • Unemployment rate
  • Maternal mortality rate
  • Suicide rate
  • Incarceration rate
  • Share of women in STEM occupations

Some women in the San Marco area Wednesday said they weren't surprised by the findings.

“I think people are trying to hold them to an even higher standard than men,” Aja Burles said. “We can’t be as good as men, we have to be better than men just to get the job.”

Crystal Morgan, on the other hand, said that aside from technology, not much has changed.

“I think as far as society, everything is still pretty much the same,” Morgan said. “They had to deal with the same thing that we are dealing with now, except that the only thing that is different is the time frame.”

The study gauged well-being using 14 social, health and economic measures, eight of which saw positive trends:

  • High school completion
  • College completion
  • Gender earnings gap
  • Business ownership
  • Teen birth rate
  • Homicide rate
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Political representation

However, the report finds those gains did not outweigh the negative trends, many of which showed sharp changes, including an increase in suicide rates, a spike in overdose deaths and a 37 percent rise in poverty among young women from Generation X to the Millennial generation.

Many women and men News4Jax spoke with Wednesday said social media plays a big role in suicide rates, noting social media as one of the biggest changes and challenges young women face today compared to other generations.

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