Young women face greater health threats than previous generations

Young women ages 25 to 34 in 2019-2021 are facing more health threats than previous generations, a new report by the Population Reference Bureau found.

The "Losing More Ground: Revisiting Young Women's Well-Being Across Generations" report compared health and equity issues for women of different generations at ages 25-34. According to the report, there has been a wane in progress with Generation X with millennial women's physical health and safety worsening over the last several years.

"Increased rates of suicide and homicide, and a lack of access to health care services like safe abortion, have the combined effect of reversing the health and safety gains women of previous generations experienced, especially women of color," Diana Elliott, vice president for U.S. programs at the Population Reference Bureau, said in a Nov. 30 press release.

Here are four key findings:

  • Suicide rates among women ages 25 to 34 have risen from 4.4 deaths per 100,000 for Generation X to 7 deaths per 100,000 for millennial women. 

  • Suicide rates have declined among young white women but are nearly three times as high in women of color.

  • Maternal mortality rates have soared from 19.2 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2013-2015 to 30.4 deaths in 2019-2021.

  • Homicide rates have also increased among young women, from 4.3 deaths per 100,000 for Gen X to 4.5 deaths for millennials. The rates have increased nearly 60% for Black millennial women.

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