Millennials: Indebted, Independent, But Optimistic About the Future

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Source: Pew Research

A great demographic shift is taking place in the United States, a shift spurred by the Millennial generation, or Generation Y. These individuals, aged between 18 and 33 years old, are forging a distinctive path into adulthood compared with older Americans, noted Pew Research in a study released March 7. As a group, they are relatively unattached to organized political or religious institutions, tapped into social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no rush to marry — but highly optimistic about the future. As any survey of more than 85 million people would, the data paints a contradictory picture of a generation that has been highly villainized (Time Magazine called them the “Me,Me, Me Generation”), praised, misunderstood, and analyzed. And, there is good reason for that analysis; by 2025, Millennials will make up a majority of the workforce. The changing societal and political attitudes held by those born after 1980 will also present a challenge to both political parties in coming elections. Their changing societal and political attitudes are important not only to the politicians that seek their votes but to the companies that hire them and to the marketers trying to sell to them.

(1) Millennials are the most racially diverse generation in American history:

According to the Pew Survey, Generation Y is the most diverse generation in American history, a trend propelled by the large wave of Hispanic and Asian immigrants who have been coming to the United States for the past half century, and whose American-born children are now aging into adults. Forty-three percent of those Americans born after 1980 are non-white.

In actuality, the Millennial generation is a transitional one. For, now they are the most diverse adult generation in the country. But those Americans under 14 are significantly more diverse, and a slim majority of newborns in America are non-white. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that a majority of the entire United States population will be non-white sometime around 2043.

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