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This May Be a Demographic 'Shock' to Boomers

Those under age 40 now outnumber their older generations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 3, 2020 12:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – Sorry, boomers. Millennials and their younger siblings and children now make up a majority of the US population, per the AP. A new analysis by the Brookings Institution shows that 50.7% of US residents were under age 40, as of July 2019. Brookings' analysis of population estimates released this summer by the 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 US residents. "To many Americans—especially baby boomers themselves—this news may come as a shock," William Frey, a senior fellow at Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program, wrote in the analysis. "For them, the term 'millennial' has been associated with a youthful, often negative vibe in terms of habits, ideology, and politics."

"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," he added. Those under age 40 are more diverse than the older cohorts, with almost half identifying as being part of a racial or ethnic minority. Past surveys show that the younger generations split from the older generations on issues such as immigration reform, criminal justice reform, and environmental protection, and the pandemic and recent racial justice protests are likely to galvanize the younger groups to promote an array of progressive causes, Frey wrote. Millennials typically are defined as being born between 1981 and 1996. Baby boomers were born between the end of World War II and the arrival of the Beatles in the US in 1964.

(Read more baby boomers stories.)

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