Millennials: First Modern Generation Doing Worse Economically Than Their Parents

Who are the Millennials? They tend to vote Democrat and are largely liberal, but they’re not attached to the Democratic Party. They’re the most diverse American generation: over 40% are nonwhite. Famously, they’re the most technologically savvy, obviously, thanks to being digital natives. And they’re dragging their feet when it comes to the institution of marriage. Why are they reluctant to walk down the aisle? The answer is disturbing.


Paul Taylor, the Executive Vice President of the Pew Research Institute and the author of The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown, talked to Big Think about the fabric of this generation.

“We don’t know how their story ends, but we know how the story of their economic lives have begun,” says Taylor. “Whether it’s income, whether it’s wealth, whether it’s poverty, whether it’s employment, unemployment – all the classic measures.  And you correct for inflation and you make it an apples to apples comparison, they’re doing less well [than their parents].” It's the economic insecurity, says Taylor, that makes Millennials see marriage as out of reach.

For more insights from Taylor on how else Millennials are "a very distinctive generation," watch this clip from Big Think’s interview:

Related Articles

Giving octopuses ecstasy reveals surprising link to humans

A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.

Image: damn_unique via Flickr
Surprising Science
  • Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
  • Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
  • Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
Keep reading Show less

Why drawing isn’t just an art

There's a growing understanding that drawing is much more than an art form: it's a powerful tool for learning.

(GoaShape via Unsplash)
Mind & Brain
  • We often think of drawing as something that takes innate talent, but this kind of thinking stems from our misclassification of drawing as, primarily, an art form rather than a tool for learning.
  • Researchers, teachers, and artists are starting to see how drawing can positively impact a wide variety of skills and disciplines.
  • Drawing is not an innate gift; rather, it can be taught and developed. Doing so helps people to perceive the world more accurately, remember facts better, and understand their world from a new perspective.
Keep reading Show less

4 new personality types revealed by huge study

It may be simpler than we thought.

(Anna Palm de Rosa, Public Domain)
Surprising Science
  • An analysis of a massive amount of data reveals four new personality types.
  • The study is the first to take self-reporting out of the equation.
  • The four new types are "average," "reserved," "self-centered," and "role model".
Keep reading Show less