The Pew Research Center has found that millennials will outnumber the baby boomer generation during 2015. Millennials (defined as between ages 18 to 34 in 2015) are projected to number 75.3 million, surpassing the projected 74.9 million Boomers (ages 51 to 69). The Gen X population (ages 35 to 50 in 2015) is projected to outnumber the Boomers by 2028.
The Millennial generation continues to grow as young immigrants expand their ranks. Boomers – a generation defined by the boom in U.S. births following World War II — are older and shrinking in size as the number of deaths exceed the number of older immigrants arriving in the country.
While the official consensus is still underway, the Pew Research Institute’s use of analysis displays the behaviors, demographic and implications of the growing millennial generation in comparison to the baby boomers.
According to Dowell Myers, professor at the Price School of Public Policy and specialist in urban growth, millennials have caused a considerable burden to education. Most are 20 to 25 years of age and will advantageously influence the prospective labor pool.
“Well first, I think this is important because [the] baby boomer generation is so big,” Myers said. “They’re our biggest generation. So this study is saying that the next generation might be bigger than they are. There is an important part … Generation X is too small and they haven’t been able to hold up all of their duties in the world and the millennials come along now who are bigger and hopefully strong and able to do a better job.”
Myers explained how improvements in the economy will positively affect the workforce.
“Unemployment now is starting to get back to what we like,” Myers said. “By the end of the current decade in about five or six years, it’s going to be a great job market for young people because of all of the retirements.”
Carl Martellino, the executive director of the USC Career Center, said that differences between the baby boomers and millennials lie in the ways they maintain interests and approach career paths.
“Cohorts of individuals influence each other,” Martellino said. “Each cohort has a particular experience based on what’s happening with the economy, what’s happening in politics, what’s happening around the world that informs their point of reference. Rather than following a path, millennials are interested in creating the kind of career and flexibility they want. It is more of an entrepreneurial approach.”
Not only will this increase in population affect the quantity of jobs in the work force, but it will also affect the types of jobs these millennials typically seek.
Derek Belle, a junior majoring in business administration and accounting, described innovation and technological advances as a prominent force in shaping the current generation.
“If we are competing for the same job, I would assume that millennials are better equipped to work because jobs in the future will probably make use of technology,” Belle said. “Millennials are more accustomed to using [technology] than a generation that lived the majority of their lives without it.”
The Pew Research Institute’s analysis describes the characteristics of the growing millennial population — aspects that paint a clearer picture of the future in regard to population and its implications.