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millennials (millennial generation)

Millennials (millennial generation, Generation Y) is the phrase used to generally describe a person who reached adulthood in the early 21st century and covers the generation of people born between 1980 and 2000.

Often, researchers and various authors and publications use the phrase to describe those with 1970s to early 90s as birth years. Others use up to 2004 as the ending birth year. In the early use of the phrase, it was used to describe only those who would graduate high school in the year 2000.

While there are still different views regarding the start and end birth dates of millennials, the widely accepted version is a person born after the 1980s who is of the first generation to come of age in the year 2000. The U.S. Census Bureau defines a millennial as a person born between 1982 and 2000.

Who are the Millennials? Characteristics and Statistics

Millennials are those who grew up using electronics, the Internet and online social communities. According to DMR (Digital marketing Ramblings) the millennial generation spends 18 hours per week on their smartphone, make up 25 percent of the US workforce and are the largest group to use a coupon for Internet shopping. Some facts offered by Pew Research Center suggest that millennials are likely to be college graduates and are the generation most likely to live at home between the ages of 25 and 35.

Millennial statistics

Image Source: Millennials are the generation most likely to live at home, Pew Research Center

10 Statistics to Know About Millennials

From various research whitepapers and publications, here are some interesting facts about the millennial generation:

  • Millennials number 83.1 million and represent more than one quarter of America’s population. Their size exceeds that of the 75.4 million baby boomers. (2015, U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Millennials are more diverse than the generations that preceded them, with 44.2 percent being part of a minority race or ethnic group. (2015, U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Millennials in developed countries feel pessimistic, while optimism reigns in emerging markets. There are distinct differences as to what concerns millennials in each group. (2017, Deloitte Millennial Survey)
  • Millennials are the most educated generation in American history with over 63 percent of millennials having a Bachelor's Degree. (2012, PayScale Study)
  • Millennial workers, ages 18 to 35, are just as likely to stick with their employers as their older counterparts in Generation X were when they were young adults. (2017, Pew Research Center)
  • Millennials embrace brands on social media: Five out of six millennials connect with companies on social media networks. (2014, SDL).
  • Millennials award higher brand equity than Boomers to most retail categories. The brand equity ratings show that luxury department stores are among those with greater favorability among Millennials than Boomers. (2017, The Harris Poll EquiTrend Study)
  • Most Millennials Have Installed Ad Blockers: Two out of three US millennials use an ad blocker on a desktop or mobile device. (2016, Anatomy Media)
  • 50 percent of Millennial employees rarely think about leaving their organization to work somewhere else, compared to 54 percent of Gen Xers and 63 percent of Baby Boomers (2017, AON Modern Survey)
  • By 2020, millennial spending in the U.S. is expected to increase to $1.4 trillion, representing 30 percent of total retail sales in the future. (2015, Accenture)

Generations X, Y and Z

The millennial generation is the same as Generation Y and it is the demographic cohort that follows Generation X. Other generation demographics include the following:

Generation Z (GenZ, Post-Millennial, Centennials)

  • Researchers typically use starting birth years ranging from the late-1990s to mid-2000s.

Generation Y (Millennials)

  • Born between 1980 and 2000.

Generation X (Gen X, MTV Generation)

  • Born between 1960 through to ending birth year in the early 1980s.

Baby Boomers

  • Born in the early 1940s and ending birth year in 1964.






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