, sometimes referred to as "Millennials
" or "Echo Boomers
", is a cohort
of individuals born in possible starting years ranging anywhere from 1976 to 1982 to possible ending years anywhere from 1990 to 2001 , that grew up in the 1990s and 2000s.
Peaking in 1989–1990 was the Echo Boom, a result of the Baby Boom of the late 1940s and 1950s settling down and having kids in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Those born after the end of this boom in 1993, up to 2001 are included in later-reaching definitions of Gen Y
(see Post-Echo Generation).
Trends among members
As with previous generations, many trends (and problems) began to surface as the Millennials came of age.
- Members of this generation are facing higher costs for higher education than previous generations.
- In the United States, as they begin to enter colleges and universities in large numbers, some of their Baby Boomer parents are becoming helicopter parents. Many college advisors and administrators worry that this could have a negative effect on the student's social progress, ego, and developing maturity.
- They represent more than 70 million consumers in the United States. They earn a total annual income of about $211 billion, spend approximately $172 billion per year and strongly influence many adult consumer buying choices. They also face a greater degree of direct corporate marketing than any other generation in history.
- A 2008 survey by UK recruitment consultancy FreshMinds Talent in partnership with Management Today suggested that Generation Y are generally more ambitious, brand conscious and tend to move jobs more often than previous generations. The survey of over 1,000 people, entitled Work 2.0, also suggests several possible misconceptions about Generation Y, including that they are as loyal as their predecessors and believe that their job says something about them as individuals.
- There is more experience of family breakdown. The generation has seen high divorce rates, and homes with 2 working parents are much more common. This has greatly changed their relationships at home when compared to their parents and grandparents. This may have led them to be more peer-oriented and this may be a contributing factor to the premium that Gen Y workers place on workplace culture.
- A 2007 episode of the American news magazine 60 Minutes entitled The Age Of The Millennials proposed that members of the generation are exceptionally tech-savvy, are especially tuned to their own value in the job market, have limited loyalty to any particular employer, and insist on working in a stimulating job environment.
- More openness in regards to sexual and romantic life-styles than prior generations. Generally more openness to sexual expression and experimentation, but with less or even totally without romance or attachments.
These are characteristics and attitudes that were previously attributed to Generation X in works such as the 1999 article "The Hunter-Gatherers of the Knowledge Economy: The Anthropology of Today's Cyberforagers" by David Berreby, so these behaviors may be consequences of modern culture or of the modern economy rather than qualities of a particular generation.
The generation is sometimes described as "Civics", characterised as wealth creators and nation builders. They are sometimes described as an "overachieving, overscheduled" generation."
Relationship with technology
Generation Y has a nearly intimate connection to technology. In their 2007 book, Connecting to the Net.Generation: What Higher Education Professionals Need to Know About Today's Students, Reynol Junco and Jeanna Mastrodicasa found that in a survey of 7,705 college students in the US:
- 97% own a computer
- 97% have downloaded music and other media using peer-to-peer file sharing
- 94% own a cell phone
- 76% use instant messaging and social networking sites
- 66.6% of college students have a Facebook
- 60% own some type of portable music and/or video device such as an iPod
- 49% regularly download music and other media using peer-to-peer file sharing
- 34% use websites as their primary source of news
- 28% author a blog and 44% read blogs
- 15% of IM users are logged on 24 hours a day/7 days a week
The most commonly used term, "Generation Y", alludes to a succession from Generation X
, a term popularized by the Canadian fiction writer Douglas Coupland
in his 1991 book Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture
One name sometimes used when referring to this group is "Millennials," which was coined by William Strauss and Neil Howe
in their 1991 book Generations.
This term relates to the generation's young age during the turn of the millennium.
The name "Echo Boomers" relates to the size of the generation and its relation to the Baby boomer generation.