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Marriage & Millennials

6:30 pm
Boulevard Brewery

Marriage & Millennials

6:30 pm
Boulevard Brewery

Many millennials are delaying or eschewing marriage. Why? What are the educational, economic, and cultural factors?

Our panelists gathered together for a civil, fact-based discussion that considers the current state and future of matrimony from expert and personal perspectives.

Watch the event video and view photos below!


Klassie Alcine is Director of Corporate and Community Partnerships for Central Exchange. Klassie has over 10 years of experience in nonprofit leadership, strategic development, and political campaign management. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Criminal Justice and a Master’s in Public Administration. She is passionate about connecting and empowering people to learn the tools to live a fulfilled life. Klassie is an advocate for a myriad of charitable causes ranging from homeless youth to higher education.

Laura Alvarez is a strong believer in the power of communities and business. Laura thrives on meeting new people, collaboration, and turning small ideas into a scalable opportunity. She currently helps oversee the Hispanic Consumer Strategy in Marketing and Operations for H&R Block. H&R Block is a global consumer tax services provider, having prepared more than 680 million tax returns since 1955. Laura also serves as a consultant to other businesses on growing their business within the Hispanic demographic.

Laura attended Quinnipiac University, graduating with a master in science of organizational leadership (MSOL). She has an almost law degree from the University of South Dakota and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Huston, earning a bachelor of arts in political science.

Most recently Laura serves as a board member and board development chair of Literacy KC. In 2017, she was appointed by the Mayor of Kansas City to participate in the cost of water task force and graduated from the United Way Governance Academy.

A bilingual leader, Laura has served as treasurer of the Young Latino Professionals of Greater Kansas City, an organization dedicated to developing leaders through networking, professional development, civic engagement, and philanthropic opportunities. Laura also served as president of the Kansas City chapter of Prospanica (formerly known as the National Society of Hispanic MBAs) in 2015. In 2012, Laura completed the Latino Leadership Institute, a program designed to train community leaders on nonprofit board governance.

Meredith Davis is head of communications at The League, a social and mobile dating application. As The League’s first employee, Meredith has played a major role in scaling the company from leading both national and international expansion and growth initiatives to growing The League’s waitlist 5x in a single year through a variety of non-paid growth tactics including PR, email marketing and event partnerships. Meredith also focuses on building The League’s company, product, and executive narratives, devising content, social and media strategy and launching products and campaigns.

Meredith earned a B.A. at Indiana University where she studied Psychology, Human Sexuality and conducted sex research at The Kinsey Institute.

Marissa Vidler, with the innate ability to tell a great story, enough curiosity to kill a cat, and a willingness to take risks (including, but not limited to, referencing “killing a cat” in her bio’s opening statement), Marissa is a born researcher. With 18 years in market research, Marissa has personally talked to thousands of consumers to help bring their stories to life and strategically guide her clients to help them better meet their customers’ needs. Her curiosity and interest in marketing to the millennial generation led to her first book, Millennials with Kids: Marketing to This Powerful and Surprisingly Different Generation of Parents.

As the founder and Research “Genius” at Clear Box Insights, Marissa serves a variety of clients, including PepsiCo, Hallmark, Playboy, and L’Oreal as well as a myriad of industries, such as premium honey, alcohol, pets, technology, and babies.


Ashley Beard-Fosnow has spent the last 7 years working for various causes and nonprofit organizations in the Kansas City region.  A strong proponent of the vital role public urban research universities play in our society, Ashley engages the community as the Assistant Director of Development at the UMKC Foundation.  Previously, she worked to expand voting rights with Missouri Jobs with Justice and worked on behalf of pregnant and parenting homeless teens at Mother’s Refuge. Ashley earned a Master of Public Administration degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree from the University of Missouri- Kansas City.   She loves to volunteer for groups that serve women and children. Currently, she serves on the board of directors for the domestic violence shelter, Hope Haven of Cass County, and on the Division of Youth Services Advisory Council for Missouri’s Department of Social Services.  An outlier as far as millennials go, Ashley and her husband, Clint, will celebrate their 13th wedding anniversary this summer. They live in Greenwood with their three children: Vera (11), Henry (9), and Charlie (8).


Millennials & Marriage
  • There are roughly 73 million Millennials in the U.S. born between 1980 and 1998 which makes up about 23% of the country’s population (year range and population number varies depending on source; from 1977- 1996 there are roughly 79 Millennials).

    Most of today’s Americans believe that educational and economic accomplishments are extremely important milestones of adulthood. In contrast, marriage and parenthood rank low: over half of Americans believe that marrying and having children are not very important in order to become an adult. Source

    Young people are delaying marriage, but most still eventually tie the knot. In the 1970s, 8 in 10 people married by the time they turned 30. Today, not until the age of 45 have 8 in 10 people married. Source

    As of 2016, 59% of millennials are single and have never been married. Source

    • 30% say they haven’t found the right person.
    • 27% say they aren’t financially stable enough.
    • 22% say they aren’t ready to settle down. Source
    • According to a study done by Bentley University, the median age for marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men. (Up from 20 for women and 23 for men in 1960). Source

    The marriage rate has decreased by 47% from 1980 to 2015. Source

    Nearly 2 in 5 millennial/Gen X men and women indicate that marriage has not worked out for most people they know. Source

    Two out of five millennial/Gen X men and women agree that divorce is usually the best solution when a couple can’t seem to work out their marriage problems. Source

Online Dating
  • Americans are increasingly looking for love online. A total of 15% of American adults used online dating sites and/or mobile dating apps in 2015, up from 11% who reported doing so in 2013.In 2018, Roughly four-in-ten Americans (41%) know someone who uses online dating, and 29% know someone who has entered a long-term relationship via online dating. Source
Marriage & Education
  • College-educated adults are more likely to be married than less-educated adults. Among those who were ages 25 and older in 2014, 65% of those with a bachelor’s degree or more were married, compared with 53% of adults with less education. SourceAbout half of first marriages in the U.S. are likely to survive at least 20 years, according to government estimates. But for one demographic group, marriages last longer than most: College-educated women have an almost eight-in-ten chance of still being married after two decades. SourceIn 2012, the National Center for Health Statistics estimated that: Source
    • 78% of college-educated women who married for the first time could expect their marriages to last at least 20 years. But among women who have a high school education or less, the share is only 40%.
    • Roughly two-thirds (65%) of men with a bachelor’s degree could expect that, if they marry, their first marriage will last 20 years or longer, compared with 50% of men with a high school diploma or less.
Millennial Households
  • More young people today live in their parents’ home than in any other arrangement: 1 in 3 young people, or about 24 million 18- to 34-year-olds, lived in their parents’ home in 2015.In 2005, the majority of young adults lived independently in their own household, which was the predominant living arrangement in 35 states. A decade later, by 2015, the number of states where the majority of young people lived independently fell to just six.More young men are falling to the bottom of the income ladder. In 1975, only 25 percent of men, aged 25 to 34, had incomes of less than $30,000 per year. By 2016, that share rose to 41 percent of young men. (Incomes for both years are in 2015 dollars.)Between 1975 and 2016, the share of young women who were homemakers fell from 43 percent to 14 percent of all women aged 25 to 34.

    Of young people living in their parents’ home, 1 in 4 are idle, that is they neither go to school nor work. Source

  • Over half (64%) of Gen X and Millennials agree that living together before marriage may help to prevent divorce. SourceThe number of U.S. adults cohabiting with a partner is on the rise. In addition to the half of U.S. adults who are married, 7% were cohabiting in 2016. The number of Americans living with an unmarried partner reached about 18 million in 2016, up 29% since 2007. Source4.2 million cohabitating couples are millennials. Source
Millennials & Interracial Relationships
  • Interracial partnerships and marriages have increased in the Millennial generation; one in five relationships are typically interracial.
    • In 2015, 20% of Millennial cohabiters have a partner of a different race or ethnicity. Source

    Since the 1967 Loving v. Virginia case making it legal, interracial marriage has steadily increased. Source

    • One-in-six newlyweds (17%) were married to a person of a different race or ethnicity in 2015.
    • Now, 10% say they would oppose an interracial marriage in their family, down from 31% in 2000 and 63% in 1990.
    • In 2016, Millennials became the largest generation identifying as multiracial. Source
Millennials & LGBT
  • As of 2016, 7.3% of Millennials identified as LGBT and are more than twice as likely as any other generation to identify as LGBT. SourceAs of 2017, 74% of Millennials support same-sex marriage compared to 65% of Generation X-ers, and 56% of Baby Boomers. Source
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