Millennials make up nearly a quarter of the total U.S. population, 30 percent of the voting age population, and almost two-fifths of the working age population.
This generation is set to serve as a social, economic, and political bridge to chronologically successive (and increasingly) racially diverse generations.
While both the post-millennial and pre-millennial populations were majority white in 2015 (51.5 percent and 68.4 percent, respectively), both population groups are projected to substantially decrease their shares of white population by 2035, to 46 percent and 64.8 percent, respectively. Yet, even in 2035, the millennial generation will represent a bridge to the more racially diverse young adult population
More than a third of all millennials ages 25-34 achieved college educations by 2015, up from less than 30 percent for comparably aged young adults in 2000 and not quite a quarter for those in 1980.
The housing bust and the Great Recession have affected millennials’ short-term, and potentially long-term, ability to buy homes. Nationally, homeownership rates have not shown long-term declines.
This delay in homeownership may be robbing millennials of a head start toward a traditional means of wealth accumulation.
A 2016 GenForward Survey of millennials of different racial-ethnic groups found that blacks and Hispanics, in particular, consistently report more economic vulnerability than whites or Asians
Millennials were more likely to be in poverty than most baby boomers and Gen Xers at similar ages.
Millennials are slower than earlier generations to get married, have children, and leave their parents’ homes. The median age of marriage was lowest during the 1950s—at age 20 for women and 22 for men. By 2015, these rose to ages 27 and 29, respectively.
Racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half of the millennial population in 10 states, including California, Texas, Arizona, Florida, and New Jersey. In another 10 states, including New York, Illinois, and North and South Carolina, minorities comprise more than 40 percent of millennial residents.
Amidst signs that the employment situation is improving, and indications that housing affordability is reviving, a majority of millennials say that they want to get married, have children, and purchase a home. However, the capacity for taking risk with their vocations is reducing.
Research suggests entrepreneurial activity has declined among Millennials. The share of people under 30 who own a business has fallen to almost a quarter-century low, according to a 2015 Wall Street Journal analysis of Federal Reserve data.
The romantic view of entrepreneurship involves angel investors and venture capital funds, but in fact, the ordinary entrepreneur is more likely to fund a start-up using personal savings—something underemployed Millennials simply could not build as they entered the workforce during or in the immediate wake of the Great Recession. Funding from friends and family is the next most common source, but this personal network could not help much during the most recent economic downturn, when so much home equity was underwater. Student debt worsened the underlying economic problems.
According to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, between 2004 and 2014, the number of student borrowers rose by 89 percent.
AN EY STUDY FOUND THAT
Millennials invested in human capital and are willing to work hard to get ahead
Few Millennials may be starting businesses of their own, but the generation deeply admires entrepreneurs
Millennials are risk-averse and even conservative in their career choices. They intuitively know that risk-taking and a willingness to fail are important for advancing in life, but Millennials view sticking with one company a safer bet to salary growth than switching jobs (in reality the opposite is true) or starting a business. Millennial black women are the only demographic to buck the trend and see entrepreneurship as the surest path to prosperity, even though women and minorities face far bigger challenges than white men in getting the capital they need to get these businesses off of the ground.
Millennials prefer the risk-averse path
Brookings Institute, EIG.EY, GENFORWARD SURVEY, Thomas Shapiro, Tatjana Meschede, and Sam Osoro, “The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide,” Research and Policy Brief, Institute on Assets and Social Policy, Brandeis University, February 2013, Cathy J. Cohen, Matthew D. Luttig, and Jon C. Rogowski, The Economic Lives of Millennials: GenForward June 2017 Report,