In recent years, women aged 25 to 34 have seen their safety and health decline compared to the generations who came before them.
A report by the Population Reference Bureau shows that factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the Roe v. Wade ruling impacting reproductive health rights, heightened political division, rising inflation, and the influence of social media have significantly disrupted the lives of millennial women.
The analysis compares the health of millennial (born 1981–1999) women with that of earlier generations, and it shows that well-being began declining with Generation X (born 1965–1988) and continued for millennials, with worsening physical health and safety, including higher rates of suicide, homicide, and maternal mortality.
“Young women today are obtaining college degrees and entering the workforce in record numbers to achieve their generation’s version of the American Dream. But structural barriers to health and safety are preventing many of them from reaching their full potential,” said Diana Elliott, vice president for U.S. programs at the Population Reference Bureau, in a press release. “Increased rates of suicide and homicide and a lack of access to health care services like safe abortion have the combined effect of reversing the health and safety gains women of previous generations experienced, especially women of color.”
The report's key findings show that health and safety declines for these women are happening regardless of how much progress they've made in education and careers compared to older generations.
Suicide rates for women aged 25 to 34 rose from 4.4 deaths per 100,000 for Generation X to 7 deaths per 100,000 for millennial women, the study says.
Additionally, maternal mortality rates increased from 19.2 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2013–2015 to 30.4 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2019–2021.
Millennial women also face a higher homicide rate of 4.5 deaths per 100,000, compared to the 4.3 deaths seen in Generation X women of the same age.
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