Generation Change: Millennials now Outnumber Baby Boomers…and Their Politics are Different

Sunday, June 28, 2015
Baby boomer flanked by millennials

A generational shift could show up at the ballot box.

 

There are more millennials, that is, people born from 1982 to 2000, than there are baby boomers (born 1946 to 1964) in the United States. And those younger people are decidedly more liberal than their parents (and in some cases, grandparents) among the baby boomers.

 

There are now 83.1 million millennials in the United States, according to the Census Bureau. That compares to 75.4 million baby boomers.

 

A study by Gallup showed that 30% of adult millennials identify as liberal, with 28% saying they’re conservative and 40% claiming to be moderate. That compares to only 21% of baby boomers who say they’re liberal, compared to 44% conservative and 33% moderate.

 

Those numbers could spell trouble for Republicans, which is why they’re working in many states to impose voter ID laws that have the effect of keeping younger people away from the polls. However, according to Pew Research data,,50% of millennials identify as independent, rather than choosing a party. This compares to 37% of baby boomers.

 

Millennials’ differences show up in other ways. Sixty-eight percent favor legalizing marijuana use, while only 50% of baby boomers do, according to Pew. They’re also getting married later—perhaps because they’re more burdened with student loan debt—and that has translated into more out-of-wedlock births. Among millennials, only 36% self-identified as “a religious person,” whereas 55% of baby boomers did so.   

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Millennials Outnumber Baby Boomers and Are Far More Diverse, Census Bureau Reports (United States Census Bureau)

U.S. Baby Boomers More Likely to Identify as Conservative (by Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup)

6 Facts About Marijuana (by Seth Motel, Pew Research)

Millennials in Adulthood (Pew Research)

Majority of Americans Born after 1961 More Likely to get News from Facebook than any other Source (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Immigrants Help Millennials Edge out Baby Boomers as Nation’s Largest Living Generation (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

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