The time has come for Baby Boomers to relinquish their title of America’s largest generation. As pewresearch.org reports, new population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau show that Millennials, those between the ages of 18 and 34 in 2015, officially surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation. Millennials now number 75.4 million while baby boomers sit at 74.9 million.
A large reason for the rapid growth of the Millennial generation is due to immigration as young immigrants pour into the country. Meanwhile, for baby boomers, the number of deaths has begun to exceed the number of older immigrants arriving in the country. By 2028, Generation X (ages 35-50 in 2015) is also expected to surpass baby boomers.
The Millennial population is expected to reach its generational peak by 2036 at 81.1 million. At that point mortality rates are expected to immigration rates, meaning by 2050 the Millennial generation will have declined slightly to 79.2 million.
Generation X has been sandwiched between two larger generations and will continue to be the smallest of the three until 2028. During the time period when Gen Xers were born, births averaged around 3.4 million per year, whereas the time period in which millennials were born had an annual birth rate of about 3.9 million. Additionally, the millennial generation spans one more year than Generation X. Generation X’s population peak is not too far away, as the oldest Gen Xer is now 50, the population is expected to peak in 2018 at around 65.8 million.
The baby boomer generation peaked at 78.8 million in 1999 and by 2015 there was an estimated 74.9 million boomers in the U.S. By 2050 the baby boomer population is expected to shrink to 16.6 million.