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Brief Published: 10 Sep 2015

Millennial: Who, Me?

60% of US millennials don't believe they belong to this generation

Most US millennials (aged 18 to 34) don't identify with the millennial label and only 40% consider themselves part of this generation, according to a September 2015 Pew Research report.

The report explores whether people believe they belong to the generational categories they fall into and how they would describe their demographic. Highlights include:

  • Clear Identity: Boomers (aged 51 to 69) have the strongest generational identity, with 79% feeling they belong to the baby boom generation. Among Gen X (aged 35 to 50), 58% consider themselves part of this group. Only 18% of those aged 70 to 87 see themselves as belonging to the silent generation.
  • Self-Critical Millennials: Millennials are most negative about their age group: 59% say the term "self-absorbed" defines their demographic, compared with 30% of Gen X, 20% of boomers and just 7% of the silent generation.
  • Positive Seniors: Those aged 70 to 87 are most optimistic about their generation, describing themselves as "hard-working" (83%), "responsible" (78%) and "compassionate" (60%).
  • Generation Observation: The majority (89%) have heard of the boomer generation. Gen X was the next most recognised, with around 70% aware of this demographic. While nearly 60% of all respondents have heard of millennials, only 15% know about the silent generation.

Although demographic segments offer useful consumer insights, traditional consumer groups are fraying at the edges. Our Global Consumer Generations infographic is a valuable tool to help brands understand how these groups are changing.

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