Sometime this year, millennials are set to surpass baby boomers as the country’s biggest generation. As the demographic group – defined last year by the Pew Research Center as anyone born between 1981 and 1996 – grows even larger, it is poised to reshape the nation’s politics.
But what exactly does that mean? Millennials generally were old enough to remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks, lived through the long-running wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and, in contrast with their forebears, are more detached from institutions like political parties, marriage and religion. After entering adulthood in the midst of a severe recession, the group as a whole is less stable financially. And whether it’s based on stereotypes or statistics, we millennials have a reputation for being self-absorbed and having a sense of entitlement.
At the same time, millennials are more diverse, more well-educated and more idealistic. They liked Barack Obama, and they dislike Donald Trump. Most of them back universal health care, recognize that global warming exists and support immigrants and immigration. In short, they could eventually pose a threat to the Republican Party.
The rising stars featured in the Albany 40 Under 40 list in this week’s magazine, it turns out, are almost all millennials, with a handful of exceptions. Do they fit the description?