Many people consider Millennials to be one of the most different generations compared to the rest of them. Millennials are the biggest generation to date. They are even bigger than the Baby Boomer generation. The Baby Boomers had 77 million people, while the Millennials had 92 million. With so many people born at one time and growing up together, differences between them and older generations are a lot easier to notice. Millennials have a lot of bad reputation for their qualities and the way they act, but they’re not all bad.
Millennials are growing up during one of the toughest times and that could be one of the reasons this generation is so different from the rest. They grew up and hit adulthood around the time of the recession back in 2007. They grew up as unemployment rose and people were losing jobs and couldn’t find new ones. To top this off, everyone says you need a college education now to get a good paying job, but college tuition keeps going up and student debt is making it hard for this generation to put themselves in school.
So, here are seven ways that Millennials are different from the other generations.
1. Kids and Their Technology
Millennials have grown up from the beginning with technology and the internet all around them. Kids start getting cell phones when they’re about eight years old and have tablets and all kinds of screens in their face 24/7. They are so good at adapting to new technology when it comes out because they’ve grown up learning it from the start. They all want the newest and latest as soon as it comes out to stay ahead of the game. The older generations didn’t grow up with this and are always reluctant to keep up with their children and adapt.
2. Excessive Student Debt
With college education becoming a huge factor in getting a good paying job, student debt has been rising out of control. Back in 2003, the average student debt was around $10,000. Fast forward 10 years and it’s doubled to over $20,000. Students know they need a degree to get good paying jobs, but with this amount of debt its deterring everyone.
3. Marriage and Owning a Home
This is one of the biggest differences. 68% of Millennials have never been married. When the older generations were the same age as Millennials, only 32% have never been married. Many millennials aren’t getting married because they aren’t financially ready for it and not ready to settle down. That also goes along with owning a home. While over 50% of the older generation were living on their own at this age, only about 23% of Millennials are living on their own
4. Attending College
More Millennials are going to school than previous generations. While Baby Boomers only had about 60% attending college, an enormous 96% of Millennials are attending college. This goes along with people needing a college degree now to get good high paying jobs. It’s getting harder to get good paying jobs without more education, and because of this more Millennials are going to school.
5. Defending the Country
Being a veteran is another huge difference. The silent generation had about 47% of the males serve in the military. The Millennials only have 3% serve in the military. One reason for this could be because the silent generation grew up during both world wars which required a lot of males to join the military. Since there is no major war going on right now, not many Millennials are volunteering on their own to join the military.
6. The Female Workforce
There are a lot more females in the workforce today than there were in previous generations. Today, about 63% of females are employed. Back in 1963, only about 38% of females were employed. What could be causing this difference is the need for females in this generation to be working to contribute to paying bills since everything is becoming more expensive and the males alone can’t pay for it all themselves.
7. Being Healthy
Many people describe health or being healthy differently. When asking Millennials to define being healthy, most of them will say eating the right way or exercising. If you ask someone from an older generation, most will say either not being sick, or being the right weight for your height. Most Millennials are realizing that to be healthy you have to eat correctly and get some exercise in.
While most people think negatively about Millennials, remember that not all the differences are bad. There are more Millennials going to school, getting degrees, eating healthier, and getting good paying jobs. They are growing up during hard times with everything being more expensive and more debt than previous generations. And for the older people that complain about Millennials… remember you all are the ones that raised us.