The Millennial Generation

by Kerby Anderson

Introduction

The Millennial generation is a group of young people whose birth years range from 1980 to 2000. This generation is actually just slightly larger than the Baby Boom generation (born from 1946 to 1964). Nearly 78 million Millennials were born between 1980 and 2000.

Millennials are already having an impact on business, the workplace, churches, and other organizations. They certainly are having an impact on politics. The 18- to 29-year-old Millennials voted for Barack Obama in 2008 by an significant margin. Because of their impact in business, politics, and the church, they are simply too large and too influential to ignore.

For this article I will be using much of the data from an excellent book by Thom and Jess Rainer, The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation.{1} Their survey of 1,200 older Millennials (born between 1980 and 1991) provides a detailed look at this generation.

We should begin by noting that not only are Millennials the largest generation, they are also one of the most diverse. That means that for every trend we identify in this generation, there are also lots of exceptions. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn some key facets of the Millennials. Here are just a few characteristics.

First, they are on track to become America’s most educated generation. “In 2007, the first year the twenty-five- to twenty-nine-year-old age group was entirely comprised of Millennials, 30 percent had attained a college degree. That is the highest rate ever recorded for that age group.”{2}

Second, Millennials view marriage differently than previous generations. They are marrying later, if at all. The average age for first marriage has increased approximately five years since 1970 for both men and women. “About 65 percent of young adults cohabit at least once prior to marriage, compared to just 10 percent in the 1960s.”{3}

Finally, Millennials are the least religious generation in American history. They may say that they are spiritual, but only a small fraction of them say that is important in their lives. The sad reality is that most Millennials don’t think about religion at all…

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The Millennial Generation – Probe Ministries

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