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Millennials: This Generation Is So Different From The Rest

Homeownership Program

Over the last half-century, the United States has undergone a large cultural shift. The youngest millennials today are adults but there is so much difference between today’s millennials and those who were their age in the generation before them.

Today’s millennials are better educated which is a factor that ropes in with the employment and financial well-being, but there is a great rift between the economic fortunes of the people who have a college education and those who never made it to college.

Millennials today are bringing out more racial and ethnic diversity to the American society and just like the Gen-X women, millennial women are more likely to participate in the nation’s workforce than the prior generations. I could go on and on about the differences between millennials and the generations before them, but with all the buzz surrounding millennials and their choices, it gets extremely tough separating what’s mythical from reality.

Often and in modern society, mythical ideologies have been propagated without careful consideration of the differences between age and generation. Many have compared Millennials to baby boomers fully knowing that these two generations are in different stages of life. Some have assumed that the struggles most millennials suffered during the financial crisis would persist over time. In this article, we examine one paper published in the international journal of Urban Sciences, Are Millennials leaving town? Reconciling peak Millennials and youthification hypotheses, which detail how millennials compare to the previous generation at the same ages. One conclusion that this paper makes is that there was a delayed transition by millennials into adulthood, but they have started catching up in recent years. In addition, data confirms that millennials have started to move from urban to suburban areas which are consistent with the millennial hypothesis.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has helped spotlight some of the issues we see today so far as millennials are concerned, it is worthwhile noting that some of these issues were already happening, long before the pandemic, for instance, the millennial migration from the urban areas. And while the recovery of millennial homeownership had already gained momentum prior to the pandemic, this generation has not rested even a single bit, looking for single-family homes in the suburbs since the coronavirus outbreak. Perhaps aiding the quest for homes are the historically low interest rates as they are moving into their prime buying years. This signals the urban exodus where the millennial’s housing demand in the suburban regions and the rise of remote working has grown exponentially. The four notable findings that this paper made in regards to the millennial population were; marital status, homeownership, personal income, and multi-family residence share.

On Marital Status, millennials are very well known for their hesitation to get married than earlier generations. If they choose to marry, they will do so at a later time. In 1950, the share of baby boomers to ever marry (including those that had been formerly married) when they were 20 years old was 40 percent, but, the share of late millennials who were born in 1995 was only 7.2 percent. That is not to say that these numbers are in any case surprising especially when you consider the millennial generation from a long-term perspective. Compared to the early generations, younger birth cohorts have always had a lower “ever-married” share at any age. The trajectory patterns suggest that there have been not only delays but also significant declines in the marriage life over the life course among younger generations.

When it comes to homeownership, millennials are less likely than any other generation to become homeowners themselves than the previous generations at the same age. But, the gap in homeownership is narrowing very quickly. Indeed, the homeownership rate at the age of 30 among the early millennials was about 41 percent, while it was 50.5 percent among the Gen Xers and even higher among the early boomers at 57.8 percent. The paper note that, “millennial homeownership has been rapidly catching up in recent years, narrowing the early millennial-Gen X gap from 9.5 percentage points at the age of 30 to 4.8 percentage points at the age of 34.”

The financial crisis of 2008-10 is one event that characterizes the millennial population and ever since the media portrayal of this generation has always been a “financially struggling” generation. But surprisingly, that is not the case because their average personal income has surpassed that of the earlier generations as they turn into their 30s. A person’s average income is a function of their wage and the employment rates and women have taken a crucial role in these changes as they’ve had a large increase in educational attainment and participation in the labor market. In addition to that, the higher levels of education that is seen in most millennials could explain the rapid income growth during the recent economic boom.

When it comes to multi-family residence share, the millennial generation is living in these setups more frequently than the baby boomers did. However, it is worth noting that most millennials are following their parents’ migration into single-family households. The percentile of people living in multifamily buildings with five or more units tends to pick around the mid-20s and then decline rapidly as people move into adulthood and move into single-family homes in their late 20s and in their early 30s.

It is a fact that multi-family rental units are predominantly built in urban areas, the changes in millennial homeownership and multifamily residence give a little prediction of where the millennials might be going.


Works Cited



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