How many millennials are there

how many millennials have smartphones and how many millennials on social media
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PewResearchCenter MILLENNIALS A Portr Ait o f Gener Ation n ext Cond fi ent. Connected. Open to Change. February 2010 Table of Contents About the Report ............................................................................................ i 1 Overview............................................................................................. 1 2 Demography.........................................................................................9 3 Identity, Priorities, Outlook ....................................................................13 4 Technology and Social Media ...................................................................25 5 Work and Education..............................................................................39 6 Family Values .....................................................................................51 7 Lifestyle.............................................................................................57 8 Politics, Ideology and Civic Engagement ...................................................63 9 Religious Beliefs and Behaviors ..............................................................85 Appendices Survey Methodology ......................................................................................110 Topline questionnaire ....................................................................................113 i About the Report This report on the values, attitudes, behaviors and demographic characteristics of the Millennial generation was prepared by the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The Center does not take positions on policy issues. Findings in this study are mainly based on the results of a telephone survey conducted Jan. 14 to 27, 2010, on landlines and cell phones with a nationally representative sample of 2,020 adults. To allow for a detailed analysis of attitudes of the Millennial generation, the survey includes an oversample of respondents ages 18 to 29, for a total of 830 respondents in this age group. The margin of error due to sampling is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the full sample and plus or minus 4 percentage points for the sample of Millennials. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. The survey field work was carried out by Abt SRBI Inc. For a full description of the research methodology, see page 110. A note on terminology used in this report: Whites include only non- Hispanic whites. Blacks include only non-Hispanic blacks. Hispanics are of any race. Data from this 2010 survey were supplemented by findings from many other Pew Research Center surveys, including two relatively recent ones: a survey on changing attitudes toward work conducted Oct. 21-25, 2009, with a nationally representative sample of 1,028 respondents ages 18 and older and a survey on generational differences conducted July 20-Aug. 2, 2009, with a nationally representative sample of 1,815 people ages 16 1 and older. The chapter on demography (Chapter 2) is based on a Pew Research Center analysis of census data. The chapter on technology (Chapter 4) draws on the 2010 survey as well as on surveys conducted over the years by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. The chapter on political ideology and engagement (Chapter 8) is based on data from the 2010 survey as well as on our analysis of more than 20 years of data from polls on political and social values conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. The chapter on religious beliefs and behaviors (Chapter 9) draws on surveys conducted over the years by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, the General Social Survey and the Gallup organization. The following people at the Center carried out this project: Andrew Kohut, President Paul Taylor, Executive Vice President Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research Kim Parker, Senior Researcher Rich Morin, Senior Editor D’Vera Cohn, Senior Writer Mark Hugo Lopez, Senior Researcher Gregory Smith, Senior Researcher Richard Fry, Senior Researcher 1 To view the report summarizing the results of the work survey, go to The report on generational differences is at ii Wendy Wang, Research Associate Leah Melani Christian, Research Associate Allison Pond, Research Associate Scott Clement, Research Analyst Others at the Center who contributed to this report include: Jodie Allen, Alan Cooperman, Michael Dimock, Daniel Dockterman, Carroll Doherty, Elizabeth Mueller Gross, Russell Heimlich, Juliana Menasce Horowitz, Michael Keegan, Jocelyn Kiley, Rakesh Kochhar, Vidya Krishnamurthy, Amanda Lenhart, Gretchen Livingston, Luis Lugo, Mary Madden, Tracy Miller, Robert Mills, Shawn Neidorf, Alicia Parlapiano, Jeffrey Passel, Michael Piccorossi, Jacob Poushter, Lee Rainie, Hilary Ramp, Michael Remez, Rob Suls, Tom Rosenstiel, Mary Schultz, Kathleen Holzwart Sprehe, Sandra Stencel, Alec Tyson, Gabriel Velasco and Diana Yoo.1 Chapter 1: Overview Chapter 1: Overview Generations, like people, have personalities, and Millennials – the American teens and twenty-somethings who are making the passage into adulthood at the start of a new millennium – have begun to forge theirs: confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change. They are more ethnically and The New Face of America racially diverse than older adults. They’re less religious, Millennials (ages 18-29) Adults ages 30 and older less likely to have served in the Black military, and are on track to Black become the most educated 14% 11% generation in American Hispanic Hispanic 13% history. 19% 5% Asian Their entry into careers and 61% Other 5% 70% first jobs has been badly set Asian White Other White back by the Great Recession, but they are more upbeat than their elders about their own Source: December 2009 Current Population Survey (CPS) economic futures as well as about the overall state of the nation. They are history’s first “always connected” generation. Steeped in digital technology and social media, they treat their multi-tasking hand-held gadgets almost like a body Do You Have a Profile on a Social part – for better and worse. More than eight-in-ten say Networking Site? they sleep with a cell phone glowing by the bed, poised to % saying “yes” disgorge texts, phone calls, emails, songs, news, videos, 41 games and wake-up jingles. But sometimes convenience All yields to temptation. Nearly two-thirds admit to texting while driving. (Chapter 4). Millennial (18-29) 75 They embrace multiple modes of self-expression. Three- Gen X (30-45) 50 quarters have created a profile on a social networking site. Boomer (46-64) 30 One-in-five have posted a video of themselves online. Nearly four-in-ten have a tattoo (and for most who do, Silent (65+) 6 one is not enough: about half of those with tattoos have two to five and 18% have six or more). Nearly one-in-four have a piercing in some place other than an earlobe – about six times the share of older adults who’ve done this. But their look-at-me tendencies are not without limits. Most Millennials have placed privacy boundaries on their social media profiles. And 70% say their tattoos are hidden beneath clothing. (Chapters 4 and 7). 2 Chapter 1: Overview Despite struggling (and often failing) to find Millennials’ Priorities jobs in the teeth of a recession, about nine- % saying … is one of the most important things in their in-ten either say that they currently have lives enough money or that they will eventually Being a good parent 52 meet their long-term financial goals. But at Having a successful marriage 30 the moment, fully 37% of 18- to 29-year- olds are unemployed or out of the 21 Helping others in need workforce, the highest share among this age Owning a home 20 group in more than three decades. Research shows that young people who graduate Living a very religious life 15 from college in a bad economy typically 15 Having a high-paying career suffer long-term consequences – with effects on their careers and earnings that Having lots of free time 9 2 linger as long as 15 years. (Chapter 5). Becoming famous 1 Whether as a by-product of protective Note: Based on adults ages 18-29. parents, the age of terrorism or a media culture that focuses on dangers, they cast a wary eye on human nature. Two-thirds say “you can't be too careful” when dealing with people. Yet they are less skeptical than their elders of government. More so than other generations, they believe government should do more to solve problems. (Chapter 8). They are the least overtly religious American generation in modern times. One-in-four are unaffiliated with any religion, far more than the share of older adults when they were ages 18 to 29. Yet not belonging does not necessarily mean not believing. Millennials pray about as often as their elders did in their own youth. (Chapter 9). Only about six-in-ten were raised by both parents – a smaller share than was the case with older generations. In weighing their own life priorities, Millennials (like older adults) place parenthood and marriage far above career and financial success. But they aren’t rushing to the altar. Just one-in-five Millennials (21%) are married now, half the share of their parents’ generation at the same stage of life. About a third (34%) are parents, according to the Pew Research survey. We estimate that, in 2006, more than a third of 18 to 29 year old women who gave 3 birth were unmarried. This is a far higher share than was the case in earlier generations. (Chapters 2 and 3). Millennials are on course to become the most educated generation in American history, a trend driven largely by the demands of a modern knowledge-based economy, but most likely accelerated in recent years by the millions of 20-somethings enrolling in graduate schools, colleges or community colleges in part because they can’t find a 2 Lisa B. Kahn. “The Long-Term Labor Market Consequences of Graduating from College in a Bad Economy,” Yale School of Management, Aug. 13, 2009 (forthcoming in Labour Economics). 3 This Pew Research estimate is drawn from our analysis of government data for women ages 18 to 29 who gave birth in 2006, the most recent year for which such data is available. Martin, Joyce A., Brady E. Hamilton, Paul D. Sutton, Stephanie J. Ventura, Fay Menacker, Sharon Kirmeyer, and TJ Mathews. Births: Final Data for 2006. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 57 no 7. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics. 2009. 3 Chapter 1: Overview job. Among 18 to 24 year olds a record share – 39.6% – was enrolled in college as of 2008, according to census data. (Chapter 5). They get along well with their parents. Looking back at their teenage years, Millennials report having had fewer spats with mom or dad than older adults say they had with their own parents when they were growing up. And now, hard times have kept a significant share of adult Millennials and their parents under the same roof. About one-in-eight older Millennials (ages 22 and older) say they’ve “boomeranged” back to a parent’s home because of the recession. (Chapters 3 and 5). They respect their elders. A majority say that the older generation is superior to the younger generation when it comes to moral values and work ethic. Also, more than six-in-ten say that families have a responsibility to have an elderly parent come live with them if that parent wants to. By contrast, fewer than four-in-ten adults ages 60 and older agree that this is a family Democratic Advantage Narrows Among responsibility. Millennial Voters (%) Despite coming of age at a time when the Millennials Other age groups United States has been waging two wars, Republican/Lean R Republican/Lean R relatively few Millennials—just 2% of males— Democrat/Lean D Democrat/Lean D are military veterans. At a comparable stage of 62 their life cycle, 6% of Gen Xer men, 13% of Baby Boomer men and 24% of Silent men were 53 veterans. (Chapter 2). 54 Politically, Millennials were among Barack Obama's strongest supporters in 2008, backing 40 him for president by more than a two-to-one 37 ratio (66% to 32%) while older adults were giving just 50% of their votes to the Democratic 30 nominee. This was the largest disparity between younger and older voters recorded in four 2000 2004 2008 2009 decades of modern election day exit polling. Note: Based on registered voters. Figures show net leaned party Moreover, after decades of low voter identification as yearly totals from 2000 through 2008 and quarterly for 2009. participation by the young, the turnout gap in Source: Pew Reseach Center surveys 2008 between voters under and over the age of 30 was the smallest it had been since 18- to 20- year-olds were given the right to vote in 1972. (Chapter 8). But the political enthusiasms of Millennials have since cooled —for Obama and his message of change, for the Democratic Party and, quite possibly, for politics itself. About half of Millennials say the president has failed to change the way Washington works, which had been the central promise of his candidacy. Of those who say this, three-in-ten blame Obama himself, while more than half blame his political opponents and special interests. To be sure, Millennials remain the most likely of any generation to self-identify as liberals; they are less supportive than their elders of an assertive national security policy and more supportive of a progressive 4 Chapter 1: Overview domestic social agenda. They are still more likely than What’s in a Name? any other age group to identify as Democrats. Yet by Generational names are the handiwork of popular early 2010, their support for Obama and the culture. Some are drawn from a historic event; Democrats had receded, as evidenced both by survey others from rapid social or demographic change; data and by their low level of participation in recent others from a big turn in the calendar. off-year and special elections. (Chapter 8). The Millennial generation falls into the third Our Research Methods category. The label refers those born after 1980 – the first generation to come of age in the new This Pew Research Center report profiles the roughly millennium. 50 million Millennials who currently span the ages of 18 to 29. It’s likely that when future analysts are in a Generation X covers people born from 1965 through 1980. The label long ago overtook the first position to take a fuller measure of this new name affixed to this generation: the Baby Bust. Xers generation, they will conclude that millions of are often depicted as savvy, entrepreneurial loners. additional younger teens (and perhaps even pre-teens) should be grouped together with their older brothers The Baby Boomer label is drawn from the great and sisters. But for the purposes of this report, unless spike in fertility that began in 1946, right after the end of World War II, and ended almost as abruptly we indicate otherwise, we focus on Millennials who in 1964, around the time the birth control pill went are at least 18 years old. on the market. It’s a classic example of a demography-driven name. We examine their demographics; their political and social values; their lifestyles and life priorities; their The Silent generation describes adults born from digital technology and social media habits; and their 1928 through 1945. Children of the Great economic and educational aspirations. We also Depression and World War II, their “Silent” label refers to their conformist and civic instincts. It also compare and contrast Millennials with the nation’s makes for a nice contrast with the noisy ways of the three other living generations—Gen Xers (ages 30 to anti-establishment Boomers. 45), Baby Boomers (ages 46 to 64) and Silents (ages 65 and older). Whenever the trend data permit, we The Greatest Generation (those born before 1928) “saved the world” when it was young, in the compare the four generations as they all are now— memorable phrase of Ronald Reagan. It’s the and also as older generations were at the ages that generation that fought and won World War II. 4 adult Millennials are now. Generational names are works in progress. The Most of the findings in this report are based on a new zeitgeist changes, and labels that once seemed spot- survey of a national cross-section of 2,020 adults on fall out of fashion. It’s not clear if the Millennial (including an oversample of Millennials), conducted tag will endure, although a calendar change that by landline and cellular telephone from Jan. 14 to 27, comes along only once in a thousand years seems like a pretty secure anchor. 2010; this survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.0 percentage points for the full sample and larger percentages for various subgroups (for more details, see page 110). The report also draws on more than 4 We do not have enough respondents ages 83 and older in our 2010 survey to permit an analysis of the Greatest Generation, which is usually defined as encompassing adults born before 1928. Throughout much of this report, we have grouped these older respondents in with the Silent generation. However, Chapter 8 on politics and Chapter 9 on religion each draw on long-term trend data from other sources, permitting us in some instances in those chapters to present findings about the Greatest Generation. 5 Chapter 1: Overview two decades of Pew Research Center surveys, supplemented by our analysis of Census Bureau data and other relevant studies. Some Caveats A few notes of caution are in order. Generational analysis has a long and distinguished place in social science, and we cast our lot with those scholars who believe it is not only possible, but often highly illuminating, to search for the unique and distinctive characteristics of any given age group of Americans. But we also know this is not an exact science. We acknowledge, for example, that there is an element of false precision in setting hard chronological boundaries between the generations. Can we say with certainty that a typical 30-year-old adult is a Gen Xer while a typical 29-year-old adult is a Millennial? Of course not. Nevertheless, we must draw lines in order to carry out the statistical analyses that form the core of our research methodology. And our boundaries—while admittedly too crisp—are not arbitrary. They are based on our own research findings and those of other scholars. We are mindful that there are as many differences in attitudes, values, behaviors and lifestyles within a generation as there are between generations. But we believe this reality does not diminish the value of generational analysis; it merely adds to its richness and complexity. Throughout this report, we will not only explore how Millennials differ from other generations, we will also look at how they differ among themselves. The Millennial Identity Most Millennials (61%) in our January, 2010 survey say their generation has a unique and distinctive identity. That doesn’t make them unusual, however. Roughly two-thirds of Silents, nearly six-in-ten Boomers and about half of Xers feel the same way about their generation. But Millennials have a distinctive reason for feeling distinctive. In response to an open-ended follow-up question, 24% say it’s because of their use of technology. Gen Xers also cite technology as their generation’s biggest source of distinctiveness, but far fewer—just 12%—say this. Boomers’ feelings of distinctiveness coalesce mainly around work ethic, which 17% cite as their most prominent identity badge. For Silents, it’s the shared experience of the Depression and World War II, which 14% cite as the biggest reason their generation stands apart. (Chapter 3). What Makes Your Generation Unique? Millennial Gen X Boomer Silent 1. Technology use (24%) Technology use (12%) Work ethic (17%) WW II, Depression (14%) 2. Music/Pop culture (11%) Work ethic (11%) Respectful (14%) Smarter (13%) 3. Liberal/tolerant (7%) Conservative/Trad’l (7%) Values/Morals (8%) Honest (12%) 4. Smarter (6%) Smarter (6%) “Baby Boomers” (6%) Work ethic (10%) 5. Clothes (5%) Respectful (5%) Smarter (5%) Values/Morals (10%) Note: Based on respondents who said their generation was unique/distinct. Items represent individual, open- ended responses. Top five responses are shown for each age group. Sample sizes for sub-groups are as follows: Millennials, n=527; Gen X, n=173; Boomers, n=283; Silent, n=205. 6 Chapter 1: Overview Millennials’ technological exceptionalism is chronicled Do You Sleep with Your Cell Phone? throughout the survey. It’s not just their gadgets—it’s % who have ever placed their cell phone on the way they’ve fused their social lives into them. For or right next to their bed while sleeping example, three-quarters of Millennials have created a All 57 profile on a social networking site, compared with half of Xers, 30% of Boomers and 6% of Silents. There are big generation gaps, as well, in using wireless Millennial 83 technology, playing video games and posting self- Gen X 68 created videos online. Millennials are also more likely than older adults to say technology makes life easier and Boomer 50 brings family and friends closer together (though the Silent 20 generation gaps on these questions are relatively narrow). (Chapter 4). Work Ethic, Moral Values, Race Relations Of the four generations, Millennials are the only one that doesn’t cite “work ethic” as one of their principal claims to distinctiveness. A nationwide Pew Research Center survey taken in 2009 may help explain why. This one focused on differences between young and old rather than between specific age groups. Nonetheless, its findings are instructive. Nearly six-in-ten respondents cited work ethic as one of the big sources of differences between young and old. Asked who has the better work ethic, about three-fourths of respondents said that older people do. By similar margins, survey respondents also found older adults have the upper hand when it comes to moral values and their respect for others. It might be tempting to dismiss these findings as a typical older adult gripe about “kids today.” But when it comes to each of these traits—work ethic, moral values, respect for others—young adults agree that older adults have the better of it. In short, Millennials may be a self-confident generation, but they display little appetite for claims of moral superiority. That 2009 survey Weighing Trends in Marriage and Parenthood, by Generation also found that the % saying this is a bad thing for society public—young and Millennial Gen X Boomer Silent old alike—thinks the More single women deciding to have children 59 54 65 72 younger generation More gay couples raising children 32 36 48 55 is more racially More mothers of young children working outside the home 23 29 39 38 tolerant than their More people living together w/o getting married 22 31 44 58 elders. More than More people of different races marrying each other 5 10 14 26 two decades of Pew Research surveys Note: “Good thing”, “Doesn’t make much difference”, and “Don’t know” responses not shown. confirm that 7 Chapter 1: Overview assessment. In their views about interracial dating, for example, Millennials are the most open to change of any generation, followed closely by Gen Xers, then Boomers, then Silents. Likewise, Millennials are more receptive to immigrants than are their elders. Nearly six-in-ten (58%) say immigrants strengthen the country, according to a 2009 Pew Research survey; just 43% of adults ages 30 and older agree. The same pattern holds on a range of attitudes about nontraditional family arrangements, from mothers of young children working outside the home, to adults living together without being married, to more people of different races marrying each other. Millennials are more accepting than older generations of these more modern family arrangements, followed closely by Gen Xers. To be sure, acceptance does not in all cases translate into outright approval. But it does mean Millennials disapprove less. (Chapter 6). A Gentler Generation Gap A 1969 Gallup survey, taken near the height of the social and political upheavals of that turbulent decade, found that 74% of the public believed there was a “generation gap” in American society. Surprisingly, when that same question was asked in a Pew Research Center survey last year—in an era marked by hard economic times but little if any overt age-based social tension—the share of the public saying there was a generation gap had risen slightly to 79%. But as the 2009 results also make clear, this modern generation gap is a much more benign affair than the one that cast a shadow over the 1960s. The public says this one is mostly about the different ways that old and young use technology—and relatively few people see that gap as a source of conflict. Indeed, only about a quarter of the respondents in the 2009 survey said they see big conflicts between young and old in America. Many more see conflicts between immigrants The Satisfaction Gap and the native born, between rich % saying they are satisfied with the way things are going in this and poor, and between black and country today whites. 18-29 30+ There is one generation gap that 60 has widened notably in recent 50 years. It has to do with satisfaction 41 40 over the state of the nation. In recent decades the young have 30 always tended to be a bit more 26 20 upbeat than their elders on this key measure, but the gap is wider now 10 than it has been in at least twenty 0 years. Some 41% of Millennials say 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 they are satisfied with the way Source: Pew Research Center surveys things are going in the country, compared with just 26% of those 8 Chapter 1: Overview ages 30 and older. Whatever toll a recession, a housing crisis, a financial meltdown and a pair of wars may have taken on the national psyche in the past few years, it appears to have hit the old harder than the young. (Chapter 3). But this speaks to a difference in outlook and attitude; it’s not a source of conflict or tension. As they make their way into adulthood, Millennials have already distinguished themselves as a generation that gets along well with others, especially their elders. For a nation whose population is rapidly going gray, that could prove to be a most welcome character trait. 9 Chapter 2: Demography Chapter 2: Demography The demographic makeup, living Race/Ethnicity in 2009 arrangements and life experiences of % by generation the Millennial generation differ markedly from those of the other White Hispanic Black Asian Other three living U.S. generations, especially the Boomers and the Silent Millennial 61 19 13 4 2 generation. 62 18 12 6 Gen X 2 Millennials, born after 1980, are Boomer 73 10 11 4 more ethnically and racially diverse 2 than older generations, more Silent 80 7 8 4 1 educated, less likely to be working and slower to settle down. Note: All groups (other than Hispanic) are non-Hispanic. Source: Pew Research Center tabulations from the March 2009 Current If one were to assume that the Population Survey for the civilian, non-institutional population Millennial generation, like the famously-large Baby Boomer generation, encompasses everyone born over an 18 year span, the two generations would be about equal in size (77 million). However, this is not because fertility rates in recent times have been especially high—they were about 70% higher during the baby boom from 1946 to 1964—but because population growth, including a big wave of immigration since then, has added more women of child-bearing age. The demographic analysis in this chapter looks only at characteristics of the oldest Millennials—born in 1981 to 1991, and ages 18 to 28 in 2009—as they begin to make their mark as adults. It compares them with Generation X (ages 29-44 in 2009), Baby Boomers (ages 45-63 in 2009) and the Silent generation (ages 64 and older in 5 2009), both today and when the older generations were the same ages the Millennials are now. An interactive display of the current and past demographics of these four generations is available on the Pew Research Center website ( Race, Ethnicity and Nativity Only about six-in-ten Millennials (61%) are non-Hispanic whites. This is similar to the share among Generation X (62%), but less than that of Baby Boomers (73%) or the Silent generation (80%). The flip side of this measure is that racial and ethnic minorities make up 39% of Millennials and 38% of Gen Xers, compared with just 27% of Baby Boomers and 20% of the Silent generation. 5 The birth years and 2009 ages of the other generations are as follows: Generation X, born 1965-1980, ages 29-44; Baby Boomers, born 1946- 1964, ages 45-63; and Silent generation, born before 1946, ages 64 and older. For purposes of this analysis, “today” represents 2009. When using 2009 data, the full generations are compared. In comparing Millennials with other generations when they were the same age, only those ages 18 to 28 from earlier generations are included. This analysis relies on the March Current Population Surveys (1963, 1964, 1978, 1995 and 2009) for the civilian, non-institutional population from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series(IPUMS).10 Chapter 2: Demography The rapid recent growth of the Hispanic population, compared with the black population, also has made its mark on this generation. In the Baby Boom generation, the black (11%) and Hispanic (10%) shares of the population are similar; among Millennials, there are more Hispanics (19%) than blacks (13%). Despite the recent influx of immigrants into the United States, Millennials are not markedly more likely to be foreign born than are older Americans. In fact, they are less likely to be foreign born than Gen Xers (14% vs. 21%), reflecting the fact that many new immigrants are in their 30s when they arrive. In 1995, when Generation X was about the same age as Millennials are now, its foreign-born share was similar (13%). What distinguishes Millennials, in terms of nativity, is that 11% are U.S.-born children of at least one immigrant parent. That share is higher than for Gen Xers (7%) or Boomers (5%). By this measure, Millennials most resemble the Silent generation (11%), many of whose parents came to the U.S. during the surge of immigration that began in the late 1800s. Education and Work Millennials are more highly educated when ranked with other generations at comparable ages. More than half of Millennials have at least some college education (54%), compared with 49% of Gen Xers, 36% of Boomers and 24% of the Silent generation when they were ages 18 to 28. Millennials, when compared with previous generations at the same age, also are more likely to have completed high school. An analysis of education trends by gender shows that Millennial women Male Educational Attainment When They Were 18-28 surpass Millennial men in the share % by generation graduating from or attending college. Less than high school High school This reversal of traditional patterns Some college 4 years of college or more first occurred among Generation X. In the Boomer and Silent 15 35 34 15 Millennial generations, men exceeded women in college attendance and graduation 18 36 33 13 Gen X rates. Boomer 21 41 25 13 Social trends and economic forces 32 40 19 9 Silent help explain the differences in labor force patterns between the Source: Pew Research Center tabulations from the March Current Population Millennials and earlier generations. Surveys (1964, 1978, 1995 and 2009) for the civilian, non-institutional population Millennials are less likely to be employed (63%) than Gen Xers (70%) or Boomers (66%) had been at the same age. One reason is that overall economic conditions today are less favorable than they were when Gen Xers were ages 18 to 28 in 1995, or when Boomers were that age in 1978. Another is that Millennials are 11 Chapter 2: Demography more likely than earlier Female Educational Attainment When They Were 18-28 generations to be in college, and % by generation thus are somewhat more likely to 6 be out of the labor force. Less than high school High school Some college 4 years of college or more However, compared with the Silent generation at the same age, 12 28 40 20 Millennial Millennials overall are more likely to be in the labor force. That's Gen X 16 32 37 15 mainly because in 1963, among Boomer 19 47 23 11 Silents who were ages 18 to 28, a large share of the young women Silent 31 49 15 6 were stay-at-home wives. Source: Pew Research Center tabulations from the March Current Population Looking at another dimension of Surveys (1964, 1978, 1995 and 2009) for the civilian, non-institutional population life experience—military service—the share of veterans among Millennial men is notably lower (2%) than it is among older generations when they were ages 18 to 28. The share of veterans ranges from 6% for Gen Xers to 13% for Boomers to 24% for the Silent generation. Marriage and Children In their living arrangements, Millennials are markedly less likely to be married or to have children than earlier generations were at comparable ages. Three-quarters (75%) have never married, compared with only 43% of the Silent generation, 52% of Marital Status When They Were 18-28 Boomers and 67% of Gen Xers at the % by generation same ages. Married Separated or divorced Never married/Single Just one-in-five Millennials is currently married (21%) and just Millennial 21 4 75 one-in-eight (12%) is married with children at home, half the 29 5 67 Gen X proportions (42% and 26%, respectively) of Boomers at the same Boomer 42 6 52 age. Millennials are more likely to be Silent 54 3 43 single parents living with their children (8%) than Boomers (4%). Source: Pew Research Center tabulations from the March Current Population And, whether married or single, Surveys (1963, 1978, 1995 and 2009) for the civilian, non-institutional population Millennials are less likely than 6 "Out of the labor force" means being of working age (16 or older) but not working and not actively seeking work. Among 18-to-24 year old Millennials, 47% were enrolled in school or college in 2009. By contrast, 40% of 18-to-24 year old Gen Xers were enrolled in school or college in 1995.12 Chapter 2: Demography Boomers at the same age to both be parents and be living in the same household with their child or children (20% versus 30%). What has replaced the married-with-children household among Millennials? It is not the single-person household, which is no more prevalent among Millennials than it was among Gen Xers or Boomers at the same age (no data are available for the Silent generation). Millennials are more likely to be living with other family members (47%), such as their parents, than were the immediate two previous generations at the same age (Gen Xers, 43%; Boomers, 39%). They also are more likely than others had been at the same stage of life to be cohabiting with a partner or living with a roommate. Community Type The types of communities where Millennials live, compared with earlier generations, flow from the nation’s changing geography, which has become less rural and more suburban-metropolitan in recent decades. Millennials are markedly less likely to live in rural areas than older Americans were at comparable ages. Only 14% of Millennials live in rural areas, compared with more than a quarter of Boomers (29%) and a third of the Silent Generation (36%) at the same ages. The rise of the suburbs also can be seen when the share of Millennials now living in them (54%) is compared with the share of Boomers who lived in a suburb in 1978 (41%) and the share of Silents who lived in a suburb in 1963 (31%). Millennials also are more likely to live today in central cities than are older generations—32% of them do, compared with 23% of the Silent generation.13 Chapter 3: Identity, Priorities, and Outlook Chapter 3: Identity, Priorities and Outlook Looking at themselves in relation to others, most Millennials say that theirs is a unique generation. Is Your Generation Unique? Six-in-ten (61%) say they think of their own age % saying that their age group is unique and distinct group as unique and distinct from other All 57 generations; 37% do not. Millennials are not alone—other generations also Millennial (18-29) 61 see themselves as unique in varying degrees. About half of Gen Xers (49%) see their 49 Gen X (30-45) generation as unique as do 58% of Boomers and Boomer (46-64) 58 66% of Silents Silent (65+) 66 When asked to name some ways in which their generation is unique and distinct, responses differ widely across age groups. Among Millennials who see their generation as unique, technology use is the single most popular response. Roughly a quarter of those under age 30 (24%) say technology is what sets their generation apart. Other ways in which Millennials see themselves as unique include their music, pop culture and style (11%), and their liberalism and tolerance (7%). Gen Xers also point to technology as a defining characteristic of their generation—but just 12% name this as a way in which they differ from other generations. In addition, 11% of Gen Xers say their work ethic sets them apart. What Makes Your Generation Unique? Millennials Gen X Boomers Silent 1. Technology use (24%) Technology use (12%) Work ethic (17%) WW II, Depression (14%) 2. Music/Pop culture (11%) Work ethic (11%) Respectful (14%) Smarter (13%) 3. Liberal/Tolerant (7%) Conservative/Trad’l (7%) Values/Morals (8%) Honest (12%) 4. Smarter (6%) Smarter (6%) “Baby Boomers” (6%) Values/Morals (10%) 5. Clothes (5%) Respectful (5%) Smarter (5%) Work ethic (10%) Note: Based on respondents who said their generation was unique/distinct. Items represent individual, open-ended responses. Top five responses are shown for each age group. Sample sizes for sub-groups are as follows: Millennials, n=527; Gen X, n=173; Boomers, n=283; Silent, n=205. 14 Chapter 3: Identity, Priorities, and Outlook For Boomers, it’s their work ethic (17%) and respect for others that make their generation unique. The Silents point to historical experiences such as World War II and the Depression as defining their generation (14%). They also see themselves as smarter and more well-educated (13%), and more honest and trustworthy (12%) than other generations. The responses to this open-ended question Classifying the Differences among Generations coalesce around certain general themes, % of responses falling into each general category and there are significant differences across generations. When asked what sets their Millennial Gen X Boomer Silent age group apart from others, all four generations point to differences in values 47 Different and attitudes. Boomers and members of the 47 values/ Silent generation are more likely than those 63 attitudes in younger generations to point to these 66 differences. Millennials emphasize technology use as the defining characteristic 27 Different use of their generation much more than do 15 of their older counterparts. In addition, 6 technology Millennials and Gen Xers are more likely 5 than older generations to see factors having to do with behavior and lifestyle as setting 17 Different their generations apart. Boomers and 15 behaviors/ Silents are more likely than the younger 8 lifestyles generations to point to historical 9 experiences. 2 Different 4 historical 14 experiences 18 Note: Asked of respondents who said their age group is unique or distinct (N=1,205). Categories represent combined open-ended responses that fall into each NET category. 15 Chapter 3: Identity, Priorities, and Outlook Millennials and the Generation Gap These patterns echo the findings of other Pew The Values Gap between Young and Old Research Center surveys showing that the generation Who has better values … ? gap is still very much a part of the American psyche. A Older people Young people survey conducted in February 2009 found that No difference Neither/DK Americans are just as likely now as they were during the turbulent 1960s to say there is a generation gap 70 between young and old. In the 2009 survey, 79% said 4 Moral values there is a major difference in the point of view of 16 10 younger people and older people today; 74% said the 7 same in 1969. A subsequent study, conducted in the 74 summer of 2009, found that technology and values are 3 Work ethic what most differentiate the generations. Nearly three- 16 quarters of all adults said young and older people are 7 very different in the way they use computers and new technologies. And majorities said young and old are 71 3 very different in their work ethic (58%), their moral Respect for others 19 values (54%), and the respect they show others 8 7 (53%). 19 Not only do most Americans agree that young and old Attitudes toward 47 are different when it comes to values and morals, but other races and 21 most people feel that older people are superior in this groups 13 regard. Regardless of age, about two-thirds or more of the public believes that, compared with the younger Source: Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends survey report, “Forty Years After Woodstock, A generation, older Americans have better moral values, Gentler Generation Gap,” August 12, 2009. have a better work ethic and are more respectful of others. The one area in which young people come out ahead is racial tolerance. By a ratio of more than two-to-one, young people are viewed as being more tolerant of races and groups different from their own than the older generation (47% vs. 19%). For the most part, the generations are in agreement on this point: 55% of those under age 30 say their generation is more tolerant, and 37% of those ages 50 and older concur. The public may see the generations as different in fundamental ways, but most do not see them as being in conflict. Only 26% say there are strong conflicts between young people and older people today. More than two- thirds (68%) say that conflicts are either not very strong or are nonexistent. 7 See Pew Research Center Social & Demographics Trends Project, “Growing Old in America: Expectations vs. Reality,” June 29, 2009 ( 8 See Pew Research Center Social & Demographics Trends Project, “Forty Years after Woodstock, A Gentler Generation Gap,” August 12, ). 2009 ( Chapter 3: Identity, Priorities, and Outlook Millennials and Their Elders Not only do young people see their Respecting their Elders elders as having better morals and a Adult children allowing an elderly parent to live in their home stronger work ethic, most feel it’s is…? (%) the responsibility of adult children to A responsibility Not a responsibility care for their elderly parents. In a 2005 Pew Research Center survey, 63 33 Millennial (18-25) nearly two-thirds (63%) of Millennials (ages 18-25 at the time) 67 30 Gen X (26-41) said it is an adult child’s Boomer (42-60) 55 41 responsibility to allow an elderly parent to live in their home if that’s Silent (61+) 38 52 what the parent wants to do. A third said this is not a responsibility. Gen Source: Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends survey report, “From the Age of Aquarius to the Age of Responsibility: Baby Boomers Xers (ages 26-41) shared this point of Approach Age 60,” December 8, 2005. Ages for generations have been view, with 67% saying taking in an adjusted in accordance with the survey date. Sample sizes for subgroups are as follows: Millennial, n=296; Gen X, n=741; Boomer, n=1120; Silent, n=806. elderly parent is an adult child’s responsibility and 30% saying it is not. Boomers were more evenly divided on this issue. Among those ages 42-60, 55% said it’s a responsibility for adult children to allow their elderly parents to live with them. Members of the Silent generation were less likely to say adult children are responsible for taking in their elderly parents (38% said this is a responsibility while 52% said it is not). How Often Parents and Their Young Adult Children Disagree It is not clear whether these variances are the product of % of parents who have major disagreements w/their children ages 16-24 respondents’ stage of the % of adults (ages 30+) who, when they were younger, had major life cycle or of true disagreements w/their parents generational differences. However, the 2005 poll 10 19 Often also included a list of other things family members Sometimes 33 29 sometimes do for each Hardly ever 43 37 other, and found far fewer differences between age Never 13 14 groups. These other behaviors included parents Source: Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends survey report, “Forty Years after Woodstock, A Gentler Generation Gap,” August 12, 2009. Based on parents with paying for a child’s college children ages 16-24 (n=265) and adults ages 30+ (n=1304). education, parents allowing an adult child to live with