Millennials are bucking all the trends, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center. In general, they have detached themselves from time-honored institutions like political parties and religion while becoming more educated, more diverse, and more equal along gender lines.
Men and women currently aged 18-33 have more college degrees, are more diverse, and more likely to live in urban centers than past generations of the same age. And Millennials are less likely to be military veterans, less likely to be married, and less likely to be working.
When it comes to education, only 7 percent of women from the WWII generation had college degrees. Today, that rate has quadrupled to 27 percent. But while education rates have grown, employment has fallen. The report explains:
"While other generations have faced tough employment markets as they entered adulthood, as some Boomers did during the 1981-1982 recession, the labor market recovery for Millennials has been much less robust following the Great Recession."
Millennials have perhaps made it more difficult for themselves by having higher, or at least different, standards for employment. They are not interested in business as usual, exchanging their time away from family and friends to increase the profit margins of faceless corporations. Roger Martin, former dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, explains that at least Millennials know what they don't want:
"It simply is not inspiring to tell a millennial, 'You’re coming to our company, and you know what our company’s goal is? To maximize shareholder value.' And the millennial will ask, 'Well, who are these shareholders?' And if the company is answering truthfully they’ll say, 'Actually we have no clue.'"
Read more of this fascinating look at the Millennial generation compared with Gen X, Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation, at the Pew Research Center.