It’s official: millennials and those in the younger generations now make up more than half of the US population.
The data, which was released by the Census Bureau last month and analyzed by the Brookings Institution, reveals the 166 million Americans under the age of 40 – millennials, Gen Z and younger generations – make up 50.7% of the population, as of July 2019. There are 162 million Americans in the combined Gen X, baby boomer, and older cohorts.
Another stark difference comes in the diversity of the group. Over half of millennials and younger generations classify themselves as a racial or ethnic minority, compared to less than 30% of Baby Boomers.
It’s no secret that the divide between the older and younger generations has played out on a global stage. Trends such as the phrase “Ok, Boomer” emerged after a long history of negative ideology about age from older generations concerning social justice or climate change.
“It is likely that the pandemic and recent activism will further galvanize this generation to promote an array of progressive causes,” analysis author William Fey wrote.
The Brookings analysis found other surveys that show these generations differ in other ways too, such as with topics concerning immigration reform, criminal justice, environmental protection, the role of government, and the importance of diversity.
“If the nation’s most racially diverse generations—which now comprise more than half of the population—can spearhead a movement that engages their older peers and parents, it would send a strong signal that the country is changing in important ways,” Fey continued.
Projections show that by 2030, millennials and younger will not only be the dominate generations, but they will also make up more than half of all of eligible voters.