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Millennials are less likely to identify with their generational cohort label

Millennials are less likely to identify with their generational cohort label

Modern sociologists and social/cultural anthropologists divide folks born in different eras with a cohort name. Right now it’s all the rage to speak about the Millennials, those folks who are adults 18 to 34 years old. Especially when speaking of the future of the Church. Unlike those of us who are Baby Boomers, adults 51 to 69 years old, (I just barely made the cut! :p) who highly identify with our cohort name at a whopping 79%, only 40% of Millennials identify with the name. While 33% of Millennials identify themselves as Gen Xers, the next older cohort, adults 35 to 50 years old. 58% of Gen Xers identify as Gen X.

The Pew Research Center (PRC)  has just now published (3 SEP) the results of the survey, the American Trends Panel, which was taken 10 MAR to 6 APR. The survey included 3,147 adults who answered a question asking them which of five generational cohort names did they associate themselves with; Greatest Generation, Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials.

Additionally the subjects were asked to classify their own generation with a list of both positive and then negative characteristics. Older generations saw themselves in a positive light, while the younger generations were most likely to view their generation negatively.

The article on the PRC website is a very interesting summation of the results of the survey. And it has a number of well crafted, easy to understand graphs which map the findings.

The image is from the PRC article.


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Kenneth Knapp

I think we are far too quick to label people. I am a baby boomer, but all that gives you about me is a bracket of years within which my birth falls. I feel under no obligation to see the world the way the people who come up wth these things say that I do and am sometimes offended that people assign me my opinions based on my age, sex, skin color, or whatever other demographic data they think drives my opinion. If we want to attract millennials to the church, we need to attract them as individuals. You can’t save souls in batches.

Jay Croft

I get confused about those “cohort names,” but I definitely resent being placed in ‘the silent generation.”

Who thought up that label?

Ann Fontaine

That’s me — “silent” generation – did the same things our parents did – were too old for “60s stuff. Rebelled but did not talk about it.

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