We all know how particular the Millennial generation can be. This generation of 83.5 million Americans is primed to outspend Baby Boomers in 2017. They’re already shaking up many industries and changing the way people think about life stages. But it seems as if the strongest opinions Millennials have is—surprise, surprise—about themselves.
According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, most Millennials do not identify themselves with the term “Millennial.”
In fact, at the time the study was conducted, only 40% of people ages 18 to 34 consider themselves part of the Millennial generation, while another 33%—mostly older Millennials—consider themselves part of the next older cohort, Generation X.
The study also shows that Millennials are significantly more critical of their generation than older age cohorts are of theirs. Perhaps not surprisingly, generational identity is strongest among Baby Boomers, with 79% of those aged 51 to 69 considering themselves a part of their eponymous generation.
“One part of the Millennial generation is doing everything the way they’re supposed to do,” explains Jason Dorsey in his recent TEDxHouston talk. While these Millennials are typically hitting traditional life stages—such as starting a career, getting married, having children and owning a home—it’s taking them on average two to three years longer to achieve than other generations. The other part of the Millennial generation, according to Dorsey, “is not creating real-world traction.”
This dichotomy is perhaps the reason for the generational divide. The Millennials who are advancing and progressing don’t identify with the other group of Millennials who may still be living with their parents and flip-flopping on jobs for a few more years.
But both groups are eventually going to be parents, whether it’s now or a decade from now. How are these two different groups going to parent, and how will this impact the generation after Millennials, Gen Z, aka iGen, Generation Z, or Centennials?
“We don’t have the answers yet,” Jason adds, “But we want to ask the question.”
Are you a Millennial who doesn’t identify with other Millennials? Tweet us at @WhatTheGen or @JasonDorsey to be part of the conversation!