How Millennials Differ From Other Generations

Census Bureau looks at jobs, marriage, housing over last 40 years for 18-34 set
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2017 2:19 PM CDT
How Millennials Differ From Other Generations
Millennials might be getting a bad rap here.   (Getty Images/Anchiy)

It seems to be a rite of passage that "young adults" in the US (classified as those between the ages of 18 and 34, per the US Census Bureau) take a bit of guff from the generations that preceded them. Millennials, ID'd by Pew Research as those born between 1981 and 1997, haven't escaped this fate, but while many label the current younger set as simply hanging out "in the basement playing video games," as USA Today notes, that's not quite the case. The Census Bureau released a population report Wednesday that looks back at the 18-34 demographic over the past four decades, comparing today's young adults to those going back to 1975. "If one theme describes how adulthood has changed over the last 40 years, it is growing complexity," the report notes. A few notable trends stand out, and the internet is buzzing about them:

  • Parents who dread an empty nest can relax, because the Kansas City Star notes your millennial boarders may not be going anywhere anytime soon. In 2005, just 26% of young adults still shacked up with Mom and Dad, but that number settled in at around 34% in 2015—a 30% spike in just 10 years.
  • Per the Miami Herald, millennials seem to look more highly upon a good education than their predecessors, with 37% boasting at least a bachelor's degree in 2016, compared with 23% in 1975. The extra schooling likely explains a drop homeownership among millennials, from 52% in 1975 to 29% today.
  • You won't find millennials starting families as soon as they're done with that schooling, and women especially aren't as eager to be relegated to homemaker roles as past generations, NBC Washington reports. Economic security comes before marriage—and while about 84% of young men are in the workforce (a number that's stayed constant this whole time), that percentage has jumped from 50% to 70% for women since 1975.
  • A separate study finds that the most popular brands among millennials are Victoria's Secret, Sephora, and Nike, reports Bloomberg.
  • Pew Research dispels the myth that millennials are flakes when it comes to holding down a job, pointing out that millennials in 2016 stayed at their jobs for five years or longer at around the same numbers as Generation Xers did when they were the same age—and actually outpaced Gen Xers by a few percentage points when it came to sticking it out with an employer for 13 months or longer.
  • Adulting classes for millennials might not be necessary after all, then?
(More millennials stories.)

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