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Millennials (Millennial generation)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Millennials, also known as Generation Y or the Net Generation, are the demographic cohort that directly follows Generation X.

What, exactly, is the Millennial generation?

The term Millennials is usually considered to apply to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. The precise delineation varies from one source to another, however. Neil Howe and William Strauss, authors of the 1991 book Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069, are often credited with coining the term. Howe and Strauss define the Millennial cohort as consisting of individuals born between 1982 and 2004.

Other proposed dates for Millennials:

  • According to Iconoclast, a consumer research firm, the first Millennials were born in 1978.
  • Newsweek magazine reported that the Millennial generation was born between 1977 and 1994.
  • In separate articles, the New York Times pegged the Millennials at 1976-1990 and 1978-1998.
  • A Time magazine article placed the Millennials at 1980-2000.

Overall, the earliest proposed birthdate for Millennials is 1976 and the latest 2004. Given that a familial generation in developed nations lies somewhere between 25 and 30 years, we might reasonably consider those the start and end points.

There is a great deal of variation from one individual to another within any generational cohort. Nevertheless, the particular environment for any generation affects those individuals in ways that are observable as broad tendencies. This definition of the term discusses those reported tendencies for Millennials in the workplace, Millennials and technology, Millennials and culture.

A snapshot of Millennials, according to their press:

Millennials grew up in an electronics-filled and increasingly online and socially-networked world. They are the generation that has received the most marketing attention. As the most ethnically diverse generation, Millennials tend to be tolerant of difference. Having been raised under the mantra "follow your dreams" and being told they were special, they tend to be confident. While largely a positive trait, the Millennial generation’s confidence has been argued to spill over into the realms of entitlement and narcissism.  They are often seen as slightly more optimistic about the future of America than other generations -- despite the fact that they are the first generation since the Silent Generation that is expected to be less economically successful than their parents.

One reported result of Millennial optimism is entering into adulthood with unrealistic expectations, which sometimes leads to disillusionment. Many early Millennials went through post-secondary education only to find themselves employed in unrelated fields or underemployed and job hopping more frequently than previous generations. Their expectations may have resulted from the very encouraging, involved and almost ever-present group of parents that became known as helicopter parents.

Millennial statistics (Source: Pew Research):

  • 50 percent of Millennials consider themselves politically unaffiliated.
  • 29 percent consider themselves religiously unaffiliated.
  • They have the highest average number of Facebook friends, with an average of 250 friends vs. Generations X's 200.
  • 55 percent have posted a selfie or more to social media sites versus 20 percent of Generation X.
  • 8 percent of Millennials claim to have sexted, whereas 30 percent claim to have received sexts.
  • They send a median of 50 texts a day.
  • As of 2012, only 19 percent of Millennials said that, generally, others can be trusted.
  • There are about 76 million Millennials in the United States (based on research using the years 1978-2000).
  • Millennials are the last generation born in the 20th century.
  • Twenty percent have at least one immigrant parent.

See a video of how Millennials compare with other generations:


Millennials in the workplace:

Some adaptations have come about from employers accommodating Millennials. The bring-your-own device trend (BYOD), for example, is at least in part a reaction to the Millennials’ near-addiction to mobile devices. Workplace satisfaction matters more to Millennials than monetary compensation and work-life balance is often considered essential. They are less likely than previous generations to put up with an unpleasant work environment and much more likely to use social networking to broadcast their concerns. On the other hand, satisfied Millennials are often employee advocates for the organizations they work for, providing honest, free -- and convincing -- public relations (PR).

Having grown up being bombarded by advertising, Millennials tend to be skeptical about promotional material of any kind. Whether buying products and services or considering employment, Millennials are more likely to listen to their friends than to be affected by marketing or public relations material. This characteristic makes both conventional marketing and employee recruitment practices often ineffective for Millennials.


Millennials and technology

 Millennials grew up with computers, the Internet and the graphical user interface (GUI). This familiarity makes them adept at understanding interfaces and visual languages. They tend to adjust readily to new programs, operating systems (OS ) and devices and to perform computer-based tasks more quickly than older generations. Although it’s been proven that multitasking is not usually an effective way to work, Millennials may be the employees that are most likely to pull it off.

Millennials are generally comfortable with the idea of a public Internet life. Privacy, in the Millennial eye, is mostly a concern of functional settings limiting who sees their online shares. This comfort with social media means they are good at self-promotion and fostering connections through online media. But this approach often results in an issue when comparing themselves to peers. Millennials are sometimes frustrated by the grass seeming greener on the other side of the fence. That impression may be due to people’s image crafting, which emphasizes their good qualities and exciting parts of their lives. 

 In schooling, the technology focus increased in programming. Millennials can also very dependent on the Internet for learning how to do things. When their computers or devices don’t work they often need some form of assistance to troubleshoot and correct these issues without the aid of the Internet. In contrast, the technically-inclined members of Generation X may have started when electronics were hobby kits and the best gaming machines were unquestionably self-built computers. That starting point often meant Generation X has a deeper understanding of programming and hardware issues.

 Millennials and culture

The Millennials have shown in survey to have the least faith in the institutions of America. Conversely, they also show the highest support of political independents and protestor-formed governments. Although Millennials have less faith in religious institutions, at the same time the numbers have also risen for those who have absolute faith in the existence of a god. Many churches’ messages clash with the Millennial ideal of tolerance for religious, racial, gender, sexual orientation differences. Millennials are also concerned about social justice and will not support institutions that they see as in conflict with social and economic equality.  As such, Millennials are exerting their influence on the world around them, as all prior generations have done.

The contrasting view: Jackie Rotman explains why everything you think you know about Millennials is wrong:

This was last updated in January 2015

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confused on "not remembering a time without the internet"... that did not gain notable traction until the mid 90's (with the introduction to Windows '95.)

Before you argue that there was internet before then, I'm stating for the young generation of that period... where computers were still relatively new and expensive and they were still "playing", trying to be youthful.

While I was born in '74, I feel there is a MASSIVE life and knowledge gap between having and not having "internet".

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that seems very off... (only four years difference) and they can't remember a time "without it"?
Millennials are also known to be color blind because most are known to have friends of all race, we are not as segregated as the previous generations. This post makes us look lazy and stupid. I do remember the time before there was internet and I remember the very first cell phones. Technology is used for the so many things these days and for so many careers from sending emails all day to doing surgery robotically. Technology is advancing everyday so that doesn't mean that we are less well than our parents, if anything we will be better off than they were because we will need more scientist, engineers, and doctors to control all this technology.
I think the line between Millennial and past generations is the explosion in consumer electronics in the 1970s. Kids in the 70s weren't born with a computer or game system in their bedroom. By 1980, nearly every kid had early access to computing devices. I'm 34, born in 1980, and in my IT career, fixing computers sometimes feels like playing video games (or fixing/modifying video game consoles) back in the day. Most people I know born in the 70s are lost when it comes to computers, but when I talk to people born after the 80s I feel like my job is threatened, because they all know simple computer solutions if not advanced concepts. I think Millenials are the generation that was ready to incorporate consumer electronics and computing devices into their lives, decisions, and personality.
I'm extremely interested in this topic - Millennials. May be because I belong to this generation. Found a fresh article on how Millennials make money and invest on the web, just wanted to share:
Is there anyway I can interview anyone that has written an article or knows alot about this topic?
Are millennials health conscious? Do they eat their veggies?
The millennial generation is not hard to distinguish and there are clear clues as to when it starts, where the core of it lays and where it gets fuzzy again at the end of it. I am 35 years old today July 21 2015. I was born July 18 1980 and I have a brother born August 16 1982. I remember in junior high school generation x was at its height and rock music created by generation x members born in the 60s and early 70s had taken flight. High school was described as Halloween and a daily funeral as the grunge and goth scene was popular. When people born in 77, 78, 79 and 80 entered high school we followed in the older kids footsteps although you can't really say that since we really followed the music that the radio was playing and attended the concerts that showed these bands live. Computers were around, as they always were around from the early 70s but most of from where I'm from (metro detroit) Did not have a computer at home and did not have internet access unless you went to the city library. The schools didn't have internet access as it was charged by the minute and it was not practical and there was no real information on it at that time. Some kids in my class described the internet as a waste of time as one hyperlink led you to another and another and eventually after 15 minutes of searching you've found no information to what you searched for. I would not describe myself as being a computer or cyber native and most kids my age were simply not interested in anything computer. As someone born in 1980 I would describe computers in high school as an electronic typewriter. And I'm sure most "millennials" born in 81 82 83 84 and 85 would say the same thing about it. Anyway it is preposterous to define a generation by what kind of technology they used because technology changes on a daily basis. The millennials took a stand when they graduated in 2000 and they called themselves the kids of the new millennium. Those of us born in 77-81 graduated in the 90s before the new millennium. Generation x is defined as 1961-1981 for many reasons. I find it mildly funny rediculous and erroneous even to say that the millennial generation runs from 77-2000. I will never agree with these dates and these dates to describe a generation spanning 23 years and generation x spanning 11 years is not only stupid but ignorant. The core of generation x does go from 65-76 and the core of the Millennials goes from 85-96 cause that's when most of the kids were around the same age. And why is that? Because that's when their parents had them. The first wave of gen x had mostly parent from the silent generation the last wave had mostly boomer parents. The first wave of the millennials had boomer parents but when gen x born in the 60s started having kids the population rose in 1983 and this is how you make that distinction between generations because when everything is said and done generations are the offspring of our parents. I at 35 have a child born in 2000. The last wave of the millennials will be the offspring of gen x and the first wave of the next generation will mostly be the offspring of the millennials. The cusp years which would be 77-85 can relate to the era and the friends that most influenced them at that time but to lock it in generation x 1961-1981 millennials 1982-2002. This message is to the core generations: generations aren't clubs, they are a life experience and this message is to the "cuspers" : you can identify with either generation and choose either side since you were born and raised during a time of transition. Nothing anyone can say here will change mind about what I have just stated here. Thank you.
Born November 1977 here, graduated high school in 1996.
I'm a true Gen X. Many will like to say Gen Y starts in the late 1970s (1977-1979) just to minimize the terminology of Gen X. Sorry, but we are Xers, fair and square.
Those of us born in 1977 and 1978 were in our teens in 1991 when the grunge movement started with Nirvana's release of "Nevermind", plus 1991 is when the USSR dissolved, making us the last to have been teens during the Cold War.
Also, we were able to consume alcohol before 2000, and many of us got our bachelors degree in college before 9/11.
Gen X runs from 1965-1981, that's a fact that should not be debated.
Gen Y starts in 1982 because they didn't turn 18 until 2000, and they were all below the age of 10 when the USSR collapsed in 1991.
The end of Gen Y is rather fuzzy though, those born in 1995-2000 are not too easily justifiable. They were born the year or after Windows 95 hit stores shelves and revolutionized the world, many of them either don't remember 9/11 at all or do remember it but wouldn't have understood it too well, yet they don't fully belong in Z either because they still were born in the 2nd millennium and spent most, if not, all, of their single digit aged childhood before smartphones and tablets became mainstream. I'd say 2000 is the cut, but barely. Hell, those born ion 1999-2000 will still be under 18 next year, which will be a huge year in politics with the presidential election and with California's (plus 4 other states) bill on legalizing marijuana that year.

Overall, generation classifications should be like this;
Silents would be those born 1928-1945
Baby Boomers would be those born 1946-1964.
Gen X would be those born 1965-1981
Gen Y would be those born 1982-2000
Gen Z would be those born 2001 and up.
Lost Gen = Born 1882-1901
Veterans of World War I, grew up during the late 19th/early 20th century. Were the youngest people alive when Queen Victoria passed away.

Greatest Gen = Born 1902-1921
Grew up during World War I or the Roaring Twenties. Would've been the older veterans during World War II.

Silent Gen = Born 1922-1941
Grew up during the Great Depression. The older ones of this group would've been the younger veterans of World War II. Were the youngest people alive when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

Baby Boomers = Born 1942-1961
Were not alive when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, and were born during or after the turning point of World War II. Leaders of the hippie movement, far more liberal than their parents and grandparents, and still the generation in power today.

Gen X = Born 1962-1981
Also known as the Breakfast Club generation. This generation is basically just sandwiched between the Boomers and the Millennials, but do have a strong cultural identity thanks to pop culture from the 1980s and 1990s. Are a dominant generation in the workforce today, alongside the Baby Boomers. Last gen to grow up during the Cold War.

Millennials = Born 1982-2001
Also known as the Net Generation. This generation shares many characteristics related to the internet, since they had it in their adolescence and young adulthood, the younger of this gen even had it during childhood. Are technical natives, a lot less religious and more liberal than other generations. Were the youngest people alive when 9/11 occurred.

Homeland = Born 2002-2021
Born after 9/11, grew up after the tech boom, and are natives to technology the older generations would've thought as futuristic.
Where is the simple math in these generalizations? I was born in 1981. I did not "grow up with" social media, mobile technology, etc. I got my first flip phone as I went off to college in 2000. I didn't have a social media profile until I was a college graduate and a full-time member of the professional workforce. I got my first smartphone a few years ago. Heck, I learned about texting in Italy in 2003, when we didn't even have the practice in the U.S. yet. It is lazy and ridiculous to keep touting these "millennial" clickbait pieces saying how those of us who grew up without google, facebook or smartphones are babies of the technology generation.
@Post 476316:
Just wanted to clear up couple things about the "past", I was born in 1989 and i clearly remember around 2000, we were connected to internet via dial-up connection (phone line), which is pretty much non-existent today. I also remember Napster (you guys remember that?), "social-networking" mechanisms known as IM (Instant Messaging), with AOL being my go-to choice. (Yes, AOL used to provide internet service with IM programs bundled...)
Millennials are shaping up to be the wussy generation. I graduated college in 1994. I took a job for 26k and had 30k in student loan debt. I lived in my buddies unfinished basement for 2 years while I scrimped/saved to pay down my loan debt, save a nest egg and buy my first condo - at an 8.5% interest rate on a 30 year.

I continued to scrimp/save in order to completely pay off my debt, then purchased a bigger home. I moved up the ladder in my profession, I saved my money and today my family and I are just fine and continue to improve financially. We have our home, a vacation home, a couple of fuel efficient cars (all insured for $25/month with Insurance Panda), and what’s best - they are all paid in full. Ahhh the beauty of hard work and patience!

Millenials want free education, 6 figures straight out of school with a "work/life balance" and 0 risk investments.

Bust your butt, take some calculated risks and climb the ladder like generations before you. Despite what many will lead you to believe, the world owes you nothing. You owe yourself.

Very well said!! Right to the point there is no free ride and technology is not everything in this world (it's a useful tool) but remember that I.Q is not the best indicator of your life success as you need some E.Q. to be able to live a balanced life taking proper decisions, then assume your life in a responsible manner.  Be more alert leading your own way facing the true reality of today towards your own success and it will not come easily! But remember that you need people and good human relations in all this! :)

Born in 78, 79, 80, 81 with my siblings. We started using the computer in our elementary school. First cell phone in high school. Thanks.
This is so wrong. I was born in 1982 and my daughter was born in 2001. We aren't the same. The age gap to me is ridiculous. I don't feel I share any childhood/tech experiences she experiences now. It should be more like "Millennials: 1986-2005
Most of the people commenting on here, are getting so defensive over something that doesn't apply to everyone. People need to understand the fact, that this does fit very well to what is going on in the world today, and in the past 10-20 years.
Reply: It is always so very interesting & enlightening to me that the very people that 'tell' other people that they are 'defensive,' are 'Totally defensive Themselves!!' Read my article below - hopefully it will 'help you to become enlightened.' It appears that 'these people, millennials or not is your tribe.  

We in the United States of America are living with a Generation Who as they put it, are 'Secular.' What is the truth of Secular?' Look it up Yourself. A Definite Attitude of: Disconnect, Selfish, Arrogant, and in 'Their Way,' Forcing Their Ego Attitude Down the Throats of Our Nation! The Very Thing that 'They Hate' about our Government. Many of these young people grew up at a time when their parents left them alone too often and or did not take the time to 'listen and support their ideas and ideals.' I have always commented on: "Communications is The "Key" For Developing Positive Relationships and Learning.' 

Our Government of the United States of America have Forced Their Evil Lies Down Our Throats - "Elitists" Who have been All Dictators and We as Patriot Americans Did Not Pay Attention - We Listened to the Hype and Did Not Stand Up For Our Nation and Constitution. 

America has to be cleansed. We Must Re-Evaluate Our System: Congress, Senate, Courts and Judges. We as We The People Can Make These Changes and Take Action!

We Will Not Allow Any Generations to Throw Away Our Great Nation and Constitution - Never! These Evil Creatures such as: George Soros, Obama and Evil Muslim/Islam are NOT AMERICANS AND WE WILL NEVER STAND FOR 'TOLERANCE: THE VERY DEATH OF A PEOPLE, SOCIETY AND NATION!

Read Your Constitution and Learn. Take Action to Bring Americans Together to Discuss, Debate and Make Choices and Decisions - all in The Name of God and Country: Prayer in Our Homes, Schools and Education, With Our Beautiful Flag Flying with Pride. 

If this is not what you believe or desire, remove yourself and your tribe from The United States of America and find your own burning dessert - Never Return!! Rhoda Gelman
This is total manipulation. Anyone born in the 20th century can not ever be a millennial. Millennials are persons born with the millennium change which occurred in 2000. This is marketing & political manipulation to extend the political, cultural & marketing voice of an older generation while ignoring & suffocating the tastes, voice and values of a younger generation.
People born in the 20th century ARE NOT millennials. Millennial refers to anyone born within the millennium. Sorry but if you have 19 before your birth date you're 20th century. Marketing doesn't override the law of time and mathematics.
The title Millennial generally means you were a young person at the year 2000. It has nothing to do with traditional generations. It reset the clock on that. No one born after the Millennium is a Millennial since you were not even alive during the Millennium, which the title is based on.

Time magazine placed Millennials at being born between 1980-2000. That is likely the most logical date range as people born on 1980 was at the start of a new generation, the birth of video games, the internet, computers, etc. 1980 on onward is generally the start of a new technological era that built up to the year 2000, the Millennium.
I don't necessarily agree with the time lines set herein. I was under the impression that the Millenial dates were approximately 1978-1992.

I personally believe that generations, ad a way to define an 'era' should range from 15-20 years. The way I see it, is you should not be considered to be the same "generation" as your child if you are to have one. That's just ridiculous. If you are 30 years old would you not think, for the purpose of the term, that your 1 year old child NOT be considered the same generation? That's just silly to call yourself AND your child a "Millenail", therefore I think they should range between 15 to 20 years maximum to avoid these discrepancies. Thanks
One of the main perspectives coming from this video is 'Inspirational and Motivational.'  I am a senior, just turned 80 years young and although I am not a Millennial  I can 'Feel' the emotional energies in regards to The Millennial Outlook on Life. Music and Dance has ALWAYS been inspirational and has played a Major Role in it's Effect on Developing 'Ones Creative Individuality, Independence & Empowerment. Go back and Re-live the 50's - even earlier! When I share the statement: "You are the Leaders of Tomorrow.' It make a Definitive Statement: It does not mean to 'Wait Until You are Older and or Become an Older Adult.' It Definitively Means that 'Be in The Zone Right Now - Share Your Feelings and Beliefs and Inspire Your Parents and Other to Listen to You and To Your Beliefs.' But, it does NOT adhere to 'Selfish Attitudes and or Being Smug or Arrogant!'

Music is in the Soul! It is Positive, Emotional, "Passionate,' and Enlightening. See The Movie:  'High Strung.'  One of The Most Beautiful, Incredible & Fantastic Movies of All Time! Pass it on!

Tolerance: Dangerous and Uninspiring. Most people and I repreat: "Most Millennials Move into a 'Tolerant Attitude.' "Whatever, Secular, Not Interested. and Selfish. Tolerance leads to and results in: A Dying People, Nation and Society. I am open to debating this subject and 'Your Beliefs." Here is a Proponent for Millennialls to Look Deep into Their Heart and Soul for 'Who They Are' Ideals, Purpose and Results for Our Great United States of American and God and Country.  If Millennials Stand For 'Nothing,' and 'Only' What Pleases Them - Please and Self-Gratification - They Will Be The Generation Who 'Will Manipulate Their Will on Others For 'Nothing & Secular.' Although 'All of You' Try to Convince Yourself and Others of The Millennial and Secular Generation of the United States of America, Other Groups Who Wait in the 'Corners of Evil Degeneration,' Will Move Right In to 'Destroy God Loving People and Americans Who Truly are Devoted to Our God and Country and America.  Millennials Will Have Us Believe that 'THEY ARE FOR THE WORLD,' BUT, THE REAL TRUTH IS THAT THEY ARE NOT INFORMED AND NOR DO THEY TRULY CARE. 

Our Generation is by no means, 'Perfect,' but In Our Very Heart and Soul, We Believe in Our Great Nation and in God and Country. 

Here is a Genuine Thought and Idea for 'Millennials' - Similar to Music and Dance For Everyone, Create and Develop a 'Special Round Table of Thought & Ideas' across Our United States of America. We Do have Differences and Seek Changes, but "What Changes Are "WE" As Americans Seeking?'  You want to create something that is Totally Unique and Different: Put Music To The Round Table!! A Special Note and Request to "All Millennials:" Read Our Constitution Thoroughly and Bring Our Unprecedented Constitution and Your Ideas to This Round Table. 

Show That "You" Believe  in Our Great Nation - America First - We Will Not Allow Evil To Enter and or Live in Our Country For "FREE.' AMERIC IS NOT FREE FOR THE TAKING AND WE WILL NOT ALLOW EVIL IDEOLOGIES INTO OUR NATION AND OR TAKE JOBS FROM OUR

Comment and Share!! Rhoda Gelman
Wow, you need a reality check as the rest of the world is watching your Trump Circus and AMERICA is sinking by day, your glory days are over and you are implosing yourselves with that Riciculous EVIL President that will put you last as it's so pretentious to think that you are the 1ST, maybe you are becoming the most confused society of the free world (with your politics going nowhere) and you have no lessons to teach us after what your last election... I don't know anyone who is looking at U as a great nation, it's pretty much the opposite, sadly! Why don't you resolve your own problems in your own backyard instead of imposing yourself in so many places in the world with your military destuctive gadgets; history is proving your failures in so many instances from Vietnam War to today, the mess is getting bigger and EVIL TRUMP will make it worst, really awful! :(
I was born in the Summer of 1980, my family always had a something akin to a pc, at least one that was equivalent of a pc was the Sanyo IBM M550 SoC...  For you youngins, google it on the net, you will see what it looks like.  In 1993, we learned about internet slowing going in a State and if it would take off successfully (which it did), my small podunk town in Cenla, Louisiana would be one of the few that would receive it at the phone company (which is in Elizabeth, LA, and the podunk town was in Pitkin, and at that time it was DIAL-UP, ARGGGH! you chilren think you have seen horror when your wifi router is out?  You don't know true horror until you used slow-ass snail's pace dial-up!)...  At that moment we had a small class subject on networking, and what was known as the ARPANET.  I am not sure if it is still up, but if it is, it is the oldest prototype of what the internet came to be.  Last I heard, it was a far as parts of Northern Western Europe , and as far east as Japan.   Good times!  But as for racism, it's going to be a ethnic if not cultural perception, usual leading to more or less to under education and not really using facts then just it being race.  That it is a ethnics/cultural process, it goes hand to hand within the family dynamic environment.


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