Each new generation of young women in the United States experienced significant improvements in health and safety for decades. However, this positive trend has recently taken a downturn for Millennials.
This finding and more are the result of a report released by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. The report focused on the well-being of women between the ages of 25 and 34 across different American generations.
The report revealed that women born from 1981 to 1999, commonly referred to as Millennials, are experiencing the first decline in well-being during their young adulthood since the Silent Generation.
According to the study, women in their late twenties and early thirties today face a higher risk of death compared to women in the same age group from the past three generations.
The report highlighted a significant rise in the death rate among Millennial women ages 25 to 34, coinciding with a sharp increase in maternal mortality rates. For this age group, there are 30.4 deaths due to pregnancy complications per 100,000 births.
This rate contrasts starkly with earlier generations. The Silent Generation (women born during and before World War II) had 21 deaths per 100,000 births, while baby boomers and Generation X had 7.5 and 9.2 deaths per 100,000 births, respectively, when they were in the same age range.
The report recognized that improved data collection in recent years could partly explain the increase in observed rates. However, it also pointed out that even after the adoption of a new data system by all U.S. states in 2019, the number of pregnancy-related deaths continued to climb significantly.
On top of that, Millennial women are the first in a century to face an increase in suicide rates. Among women ages 25 to 34, there are seven suicides per 100,000, according to the report.
Yet, when baby boomer and Generation X women were between the ages of 25 and 34, they experienced lower suicide rates, with six suicides per 100,000 for baby boomers and 4.4 suicides per 100,000 for Generation X women.