Pew Research Center: Millennials more diverse, better educated, more women in workforce
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Pew Research Center: Millennials more diverse, better educated, more women in workforce

A new paper from the Pew Research Center outlines some of the differences between Millennials (21 – 36) and the generations that preceded them: Gen X (35 – 52), Boomers (53 – 71), and the Silent Generation (72 – 89) in the U.S. Millennials have now reached full employment age, with the youngest members of the cohort at 21 (old enough to have finished a bachelors degree) and the oldest members at 36 (old enough to have advanced a significant way down the career path). As a result, the generation has become a vital target for businesses.

graph 2003 pew

One area that stands out as important is the relative over-education of Millennials – particularly female members of the cohort. The trend towards higher education has been consistent since at least the mid-60s, with Millennial men twice as likely to hold a bachelors degree as their predecessors in the Silent Generation. Female education has blossomed even further, and Millennial women are four times as likely to hold bachelors degrees as their grandmothers.

graph 2003 pew 2

This proliferation of education has important ramifications – not least of which is awareness of social injustice (racism, economic inequality) and environmental threats. At least some of Millennials’ focus on these areas can be explained by the fact that they are more informed than any generation that came before them. For this reason, how much companies pay their workers, and whether or not their businesses are run sustainably matters more than ever.

Millennials also have a focus on race relations because they are the most ethnically diverse generation in the world. Large scale immigration and the differences in fertility between various groups means that fewer than six-in-ten Millennials (56%) are “non-Hispanic whites”. In contrast, for the Silent Generation, that figure stood at a massive 84%.

Millennials are also more urban than their predecessors. Almost 90% of Millennials live in metropolitan areas, whereas just 67% of the Silent Generation did. Millennials have a tendency to get married later than those that went before them, too, meaning cities are now full of comparatively single people – who presumably have more disposable income than their coupled peers – than they previously were.


Dominion holds a number of companies across its Global Trends range of Funds that are geared specifically to the Millennial Generation. 

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