Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, watch out. Millennials are set to take over as the nation’s largest living generation and the strongest generation in the workforce. Here’s a snapshot of how the numbers add up:
- Defined as those born between 1981-1997, the Millennial generation is projected to reach 75.3 million this year – topping 74.9 million Boomers.
- Millennial domination extends into the workplace. More than one-in-three American workers today are Millennials, and Pew Research says that this year they surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce.
- How does a generation continue to grow when its end point was identified as 21 years ago? Think immigration, says Pew. With immigration adding more numbers to its group than any other, the Millennial population is projected to peak in 2036 at 81.1 million.
- Boomers (born from 1946-1964) are turning 65 at an astonishing rate. Starting January 1, 2011 – and every day for the next 19 years – 10,000 Baby Boomers will celebrate their 65th birthdays.
- By 2030, when all members of the Baby Boom generation have reached 65, they’ll total 18 percent of the nation’s population. But the decline will be quick: 2014’s Baby Boomers totaled 75.4 million; by midcentury, the Boomer population will dwindle to 16.6 million.
- Gen Xers – born 1965-1980 and called the “middle child” of generations by Pew – are sandwiched between two behemoth generations that are statistically more diverse and anecdotally more ardent about politics and social issues.
- The Generation X population is projected to outnumber the Boomers in 2028, when there will be 64.6 million Gen Xers and 63.7 million Boomers. The Census Bureau projects that the Gen X population will peak at 65.8 million in 2018.
Kathryn Hamilton, CAE, is Vice President for Marketing and Communications at NAIOP Corporate.