Who Are the Millennials?
Age: Born 1982-2004, they are between the ages of 12 and 34. We divide them between first-wave Millennials (22-35) and second-wave Millennials (12-21).
Size: According to the U.S. Census, there are 100 million Millennials, the largest generations in U.S. history.
Ethnicity: Millennials are the most diverse generation in U.S. history: 40% are non-white.
Education: They are the most educated generation in U.S. history. 33% of Millennials are 4-year college graduates vs. only 17% of Boomers in 1974, for example.
Named By: The term "Millennials" was coined by Neil Howe and William Strauss in their 1991 book, Generations.
What Are Their Traits?
Optimistic and Confident: Millennials were raised to feel special by their parents, and told to believe they could accomplish anything. Surveys show that this generation is more hopeful and optimistic about solving problems compared to Gen Xers and Boomers.
Community and Team Oriented: They prefer teamwork over competition, seek out community service opportunities, and gravitate toward employers who try to make a difference. Millennials are connected to their peers, supported by social media.
Structured and Scheduled: Unlike Boomers and Gen Xers, Millennials prefer structure, and a detailed road map on how to reach goals. Most people assume youth prefer an unstructured environment, but studies show that this is not true for young people today.
Digital Natives: Millennials are deeply connected and dependent on technology, and are redefining how they interact with it. 88% of them get their news from Facebook.
Sheltered and Protected: Raised by 'helicopter parents' with the advent of Baby on Board stickers in mini-vans, Millennials have parents who worked hard to keep them safe physically and even emotionally. These influences have led to risk-adverse behavior among Millennials as adults.
Lower Crime: Millennials are responsible for a 70% drop in violent youth crime compared to Boomers in the '70s and Gen Xers in the early '90s. (source: CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, 2014)
Politically Progressive: They are overwhelmingly progressive, with over 76% identifying themselves as Democrat or Independent. (source: Pew Research)
Civic Minded: Millennials are less likely to enter a career on Wall Street and more likely to join a non-profit or government agency compared to other generations when they were young. Teach for America gets more applicants than Princeton University.
Gentler Generation Gap: Millennials are more likely to get along with their parents than Boomers and Gen Xers were when they were younger. Many Millennials and their parents text or talk daily, listen to the same music, and even go to movies together.
Not-so-Gentle Generation Gap at Work: Despite the gap shrinkage at home, the workplace gap is contentious. 74% of employees think "generational differences cause problems in the workplace." (source: LifeCourse Associates)
Media Usage: 30% of Millennials' media time is spent on User-Generated content—media produced by themselves and their peers. Snapchat, Instagram, Periscope, and Wishbone are all examples of Millennial platform preferences that bring together the words social and media.