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Generation Next: Pew Report on Millennials

February 26, 2010

How Generation GapMillennial are You? This week the Pew Research Center released a report titled Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next – Confident. Connected. Open to Change. This group conducted a phone survey of 2,020 adults across the U.S. and then compared their responses to questions covering everything from age to tattoos. The respondents were grouped into four generations.

  • Millennials – born after 1980
  • Generation X – born 1965 through 1980
  • Baby Boomers – born 1946 through 1964
  • Silent Generation – born 1928 though 1945

In the context of education Millennials are in high school and college and are young professionals, while Gen Xers are teachers and faculty members at schools and universities. Millenials are also supervised on their jobs by Gen Xers. Millennials are on their way to becoming the most educated generation, but are also perhaps the most affected by the current economic recession in terms of employment.

My focus in graduate school was on millennial college students (their preferences and experiences with technology and career services) so I was interested in reading more. A lot of interesting comparisons are made and some not so surprising. Millennial students are more likely to be involved with social networking sites online, more likely to have piercings, and perhaps less likely to vote Republican.

Participants who thought that their generation was unique in some way were asked to be more specific.  The top five responses for Millennials were: 1) technology use, 2) pop culture, 3) liberal values, 4) smarter/more educated, and 5) clothing/manner of dress. Compare that to GenX where the top five responses were 1) technology, 2) work ethic, 3) conservative values, 4) smarter/more educated, and 5) respectfulness. Some similarities and differences there.

How much do you have in common with the Millennial Generation? The Pew Research Center also posted an online quiz “How Millennial are You” that allows you to compare yourself (characteristics, preferences, etc.) I scored a 65/100.

For more information…

Follow @Pew_Internet, @PewResearch,  #millennials

Additional reading:

photo credit: Joi, Flickr

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