Most Millennials Say They'd Move For Wife's Job

Generation Y more comfortable with sharing the career spotlight

Couple with Camper Van
Getty Images
By Rob Wile

If you'd like to see generational attitudes shift in real time, check this out: Just 59% of baby boomers say they'd support moving if a female spouse got a new job, according to a recent survey from moving company Mayflower. Compare that with 72% of millennials.

"Pre-boomers," or those aged 65 and older, were the least likely to relocate, with just 37% saying they'd move for their wife's job.

Of course, older folks are more settled, but Fred Medway, a professor of psychology at the University of South Carolina who studies family relocation, said in a Mayflower release the generational change is real.

"As women continue to rise in the workforce, there appears to be a corresponding impact on family dynamics," he said. "Millennials tend to have fewer preconceived notions about the breadwinning role and are more comfortable sharing the career spotlight."

Mayflower pointed us to Katy Michael, 34, who'd been working at a public relations agency in St. Louis. Two years ago, she was approached by Crocs to serve as their vice president of global communications in Boulder, Colorado. She and her boyfriend still lived apart, but when he heard the news about her new job, he agreed to move with her. He found a job and proposed soon after they arrived in their new city.

"We could have tried long distance," Michael told Business Insider, "but I think it came down to - we'd be most successful as a potential family by being in the same location." The couple now has two children, with one from Michael's previous marriage.

Here's some more data from Mayflower's survey of 1,000 individuals. Millennials were defined as anyone aged 18-34, and Boomers as those 50-64.

  • 47% of Americans say they know someone who has recently moved for their wife's job.
  • 58% of respondents said they'd be supportive of moving for their mom or wife's job.
  • In households where the wife is the primary earner, 70% of individuals said they would be supportive of moving for the wife's job, compared to 55% of households where the husband is the primary earner.
  • 55% of female respondents said they'd be willing to move their family for their career.
  • 53% of millennials anticipate moving in the next year, compared to 28% of Gen Xers, 20% of Boomers, and 14% of pre-Boomers.
  • Of women in a committed relationship, 40% earned the same or more than their spouse.
  • In more than one in five (22%) households (married or living with a partner) women are the primary earners.

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Type your comment hereIn 1979 My intended and I drove from Boston Ma to St. Louis, Mo where he had got a job and an apt that was close to his job so he could walk there in less than 10 minutes. We eventually married and moved into our own home that we bought in 1989 In the State of illinois. He got very sick, disabled, dialysis, frequent hospital stays, and he died in 1998. I stayed around 5 years and moved back to the boston area by myself.. We never had kids of our own although he had adult "kids" from a former marriage. He is buried in a Military Cemetery in the St. louis Missouri area. I know I will never go back to Missouri. Too hot, too humid and all his relatives there are dead except for the newer generation who i do not know. It may have been all different if we were much younger when we made the move but he was 58 and I was 38 when we left Boston. Would I do it over again? No. not at that age.

May 20 2014 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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