Millennials, Gen Zers, and all other younger generations now makeup over half of the U.S. population, just beating out older generations by less than 1%. NBC reports that an analysis by the Brookings Institution found that residents under the age of 40 now make up 50.7% of the population. Why is this important? The majority of the U.S. population is poised to make changes. Almost half identify as part of a racial or ethnic minority and younger residents have differing views on immigration and criminal justice reform, along with environmental protection.
The Brookings’ analysis of population estimates released this summer by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the combined millennial, Generation Z and younger generations numbered 166 million people. The combined Generation X, baby boomer, and older cohorts represented 162 million U.S. residents.
“To many Americans — especially baby boomers themselves — this news may come as a shock. For them, the term “millennial” has been associated with a youthful, often negative, vibe in terms of habits, ideology, and politics,” William Frey, a senior fellow at Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program, wrote in the analysis. “Now, the oldest millennial is 39, and with their numbers exceeding those of baby boomers, the millennial generation is poised to take over influential roles in business and government.”