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Culture

Generational Differences and Similarities

It’s fascinating to see how, as time goes on, the main values and ethics of people change. Especially, right now, with so much going on in the world, everybody has their own opinions and perspectives. Below I report on some research done on the different generations’ views on marriage, religion, and politics. Unless otherwise stated, the statistics are from PEW Research Center.

Marriage

Silent Generation – During most of the Silent period, there was war and chaos. After the war, marriage rates grew tremendously especially since the Silent Generation was just starting to hit the early stages of adulthood. 64% were married between the ages of 18-33, and 96% were married at some point. 

Baby Boomers – The rates of marriage decreased gradually as new generations formed. For Baby Boomers, 90% were ever married. 

Generation X – And it declined again to 81% for Gen X. 

Millennials – This data was taken during 2014 when millennials were around the ages of 18-33. This explains why their rate of marriage at 32% is low. However, it follows the declining trend in marriage rates that we have been seeing. 

Gen Z – It’s still too early to see marriage rates for Gen Z, but I think that we can predict that it will follow the same trend we have been seeing. 

Same-sex marriage

It is clear that newer generations are much more socially progressive than their predecessors. During the time period of 2005-2015, the support for same-sex marriage grew from 36% to 55% within the overall population. 

Religion

Silent Generation – Overwhelmingly, about 85% of the Silent Generation identify themselves as Christian. This is the greatest percentage out of all the other generations. 

Baby Boomers – For Baby Boomers, it is 78%.

Generation X- 70% identifies themselves as a part of a Christian denomination. 

Millennials- Major drop to 57% for the millennials. 

Gen Z – There is no data about Generation Z’s religious affiliations, but it can be inferred that many more people would unaffiliate themselves as a part of any religious group. 

Political Ideologies

Silent Generation – Compared to the other generations, they are the most Republican. 

Baby Boomers – There was a jump in the percentage of people who are leaning Democrats. This is a big change from the Silent Generation

Generation X- We continue to see the increase in Independents and Democrats. 

Millennials – The Millennials have the greatest number of those who identify themselves as an independent. 51% consider themselves leaning Democrats, compared to the 35% of leaning Republicans. 

Gen Z –  Again, there isn’t much data on the political ideologies of Gen Z. However, according to POLITICO, Gen Z is more likely to skip the two major parties and identify as independents. This could explain why they are also the most unlikely to vote as the candidates don’t fit their beliefs. 

Avona Le

South Carolina '25

Hi! I am a pre-business undergraduate at the University of South Carolina! In my free time, I love to read, hang with friends and go on walks. I am always down to catch an amazing view of the sun or the stars!
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