Getting married is still important for young adults, Barna-World Vision study reveals

(Photo: Unsplash/Irina Iriser)

Getting married and settling down are still life goals for many young adults, a global study of 18- to 35-year-olds has found. 

However, they also feel "pressure to be successful", the Connected Generation study found.

The study was conducted jointly by Barna and World Vision, who interviewed over 15,000 people across 25 countries from the Gen Z and Millennial age bands to better understand what is driving young adults today. 

Asked what they would like to accomplish in the next 10 years, the top priority was buying a home (53%) followed by getting married (41%). 

These two goals surpassed the desire to "follow my dreams" (38%) and travel to other countries (32%). They were also far more important than becoming a parent (33%).

Nearly at the bottom of their list of priorities was to "care for the poor and needy" (23%) and to "become spiritually mature" (21%). 

Notably, the study found that practising Christians are "leading young adults in focusing on family".

They were far more likely than other respondents to say they were already married - 32% vs 26% of non-practising Christians, 29% of those practising another faith, and 18% with no faith.

They were also more likely to report already being a parent - 37% vs 34% of non-practising Christians, 31% of those practising another faith, and 25% of those with no faith. 

Just over half of Christians said they had already become spiritually mature (53%), far higher than their non-practising counterparts (39%), followers of different faiths (43%) and those with no faith (33%).

Across the board, though, the study found that education and financial independence are a big priority for Gen Z and Millennials. 

Nearly half (48%) had already completed their education and become financially independent from their parents (46%), while 41% said they had started their career. 

"Data show that Millennials and Gen Z are extremely success-oriented, with both generations moving further away from more traditional life goals of generations past to a life course that demands achievement or at least stability in their education, career and finances," said Barna.

"Accordingly, The Connected Generation research uncovered that young adults are just as likely to feel 'optimistic about the future' as 'uncertain about the future,' as well as 'afraid to fail" and "anxious about important decisions' (40% each). Another 36 per cent say they feel 'pressure to be successful.'"