What is a Millennial?

Millennials working in a groupThe term “Millennial” is used regularly in the media, in the workplace, and even in conversation. But what does it mean? What is a Millennial?

The easy answer from Wikiedia:

Millennials, or the Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Y, are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates when the generation starts and ends. Commentators use beginning birth years from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

While this definition provides a loose boundary for when Millennials were born, it doesn’t do much to fill in the gaps about who they are.

Pew Research released an excellent Millennial study in March 2014 that does a deep dive into the attitudes and beliefs that help to shape the Millennial worldview. A short list of new findings from that study was also published, and can be found here.

If you want to find out just how closely you associate with the Millennial generation, you can take this “How Millennial Are You?” quiz (again, provided by Pew).

Here are some quick facts about Millennials:

  • They are the largest US generational cohort ever, with roughly 80 million members. (Forbes)
  • They are more likely to job hop than their parents, with an average of 6.3 jobs held between the ages of 18 and 25. Their parents (Baby boomers) held an average of 5.5 jobs during the same span. (CNN/BLS)
  • Home ownership is not a primary goal for them, with only 18% stating it is one of hte most important things for them to achieve in life. (AARP)
  • Only about 21% of Millennials get married in their 20’s, as opposed to about 50% of Baby Boomers. (AARP)
  • 33% of Millennials ages 26-33 have a 4-year college degree, which makes them the most highly educated generational cohort in US history. (Pew)

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but should put you on the path to understanding who Millennials are.

We hope you’ll explore the resources and blog here on MillennialLeadership.net (MLDN) to get a better understanding of how you, as both a millennial and a leader, can develop your leadership skills and thrive in today’s world.