MILLENNIALS October 2016 DECONSTRUCTED 01 02 As can be expected, the overall values and ideals of Millennials

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  • MILLENNIALS DECONSTRUCTED

    01

    October 2016

    A NEW POLITICAL BEAT Research By:

  • 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08

    A New Political Beat

    A New Set of Ideals

    Shifting American Pride

    A More “Live and Let Live” Generation

    Rising Waves of Political Influence

    Supporting Left of Center

    Diminishing Faith in the Traditional System

    Methodology and Sources

    CONTENTS

  • A NEW POLITICAL BEAT As the most diverse generation in U.S. history, Millennials are setting a new political beat

    By: Shannon Dunbar-Rubio

    The impending presidential election has already become one of the most tempestuous in history with the rise of unforeseen and unlikable candidates, pontification of nontraditional ideals, and the surprising acceptance of post-truth claims. As candidates continue to race toward the finish line in November, they are facing one of the most dynamically diverse voter groups in U.S. history, whose complexities and corresponding perspectives are important to understand in order to effectively appeal to the many unique cohorts that will sway election results.

    Millennials and their ever-increasing influence has become a common topic. Millennials have officially surpassed Baby Boomers with an estimated 83 million, and now comprise more than one quarter of the overall U.S. population1. Similar to the ideals of past generations during their younger formative years, Millennials are recognized to be more liberal and socially conscious than today’s older generations.

    But are today’s Millennials really much different from past generations when they were at the same age? The answer is overwhelmingly “yes.”

    Alongside this unprecedented connectivity, Millennials are becoming perhaps the most educated generation of all times, with women making the greatest educational strides. According to a recent Pew Research study, young women today are four times more likely than women of the Silent Generation at their same age to have at least a bachelor’s degree (27% of Millennial females compared with a mere 7% of Silent Generation females)2. The Pew study states that Millennial women are 6 percent more likely to have a bachelor’s degree or higher than Millennial men (27% vs. 21%). The last time men were better educated than women was during the Baby Boomer generation. However, Millennial men have also attained a greater education than past generations at their same age. Today, approximately 21 percent of young men have a bachelor’s degree or higher, while only 12 percent of the Silent Generation had

    at least a bachelor’s degree at their age2.

    Higher levels of education have resulted in young women participating in the workforce at greater levels than in the past. About 63 percent of Millennial women are in the labor force today, while just 38 percent of women in the Silent Generation worked. It’s particularly noteworthy that Millennials experienced an exceptionally tough labor force due to one of the deepest recessions in U.S. history – hence why so many chose to stay in school.

    As such, Millennials today carry more debt and have less money than past generations at their same age;

    therefore, they maintain very different values. They are putting off getting married, having

    children, home ownership, and even making major purchases, and instead

    are turning to experiential opportunities and accessing products and services without actually owning them through what’s becoming termed a “sharing economy.3” It’s these evolving social and economic shifts led by Millennials that are impacting our nation’s core today, and which will continue to influence what we become as a

    country into the future.

    As we enter the final rounds of the coming presidential elections,

    Millennials’ impact on the results is one that cannot be ignored. Unfortunately, the

    majority of research surrounding Millennials and U.S. minority shifts is generalized without considering the

    details that allow us to understand the differences between varying Millennial ethnic groups.

    In April 2016, a collaborative research study was conducted by Richards/Lerma and The University of Texas, Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations to gain a more thorough understanding of the unique political perspectives and complexities of today’s highly diverse multicultural Millennial groups. The study, “Millennials Deconstructed” consisted of a national online sample of White, Hispanic, African-American, and Asian Millennials between the ages of 18-34 and Hispanics 35+ for comparison. A series of qualitative one-on-one interviews were conducted following the quantitative study to gain additional insights into survey findings. Interestingly, the findings revealed many counterintuitive assumptions that prove just how dynamic the social fabric of our nation has become.

    Profound transformations have occurred in the U.S. and around the world over the last 50 years, which have made today’s Millennials a one-of-a-kind generation.

    Millennials became the most diverse generation in U.S. history, with more than 44 percent being considered a minority. Today, younger generations are even more diverse, with more than half of children 5 years and younger being a minority. It’s these dynamics that are pushing our country to become a minority- majority by 20442.

    The first digitally native generation, the youngest of Millennials have never known life without the Internet, and the oldest met it while still in their formative years. They are “always on” and constantly socially connected, leading them to being more globally aware and open- minded than historical generations.

    01

  • 02

    As can be expected, the overall values and ideals of Millennials have evolved from those of past generations. When presented a list of values to which they might personally relate, Millennials maintain more liberal views of the world today. Key differences can be noted between different ethnic groups of Millennials, however. For instance, compared with other ethnic groups, Hispanic Millennials are more likely to believe that the U.S. should require labeling of genetically engineered foods; White Millennials are significantly less likely to support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; while Asian Millennials are less apt to support the legalization of marijuana.

    The top five values Millennials believe to be of importance include:

    A NEW SET OF IDEALS

    As with past generations, Millennials are setting a unique drumbeat and defining their own vision of the world based on new values and ideals that are relevant to their life experiences.

    1 Employers should be required to pay the same salary to men and women who perform the same work

    4 The government should not be allowed to spy on my communications, email, or social media

    2 Access to good healthcare should be a right granted to all Americans

    5 There should be term limits set for members of Congress

    3 Good and accessible education should be a right of all U.S. citizens granted by the government

    Source: “Millennials Deconstructed.” Richards/Lerma and the UT, Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations, April 2016

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  • 03

    Surprisingly, it’s Hispanic Millennials who maintain the greatest sense of American pride compared with other ethnicities. Fifty- four percent of Hispanic Millennials state they are “very proud” of being American despite being the least likely cohort to have a long lineage of heritage in the U.S. In contrast, White Millennials, who are more likely to have generations of American heritage, have the lowest levels of national pride at only 40 percent. Meanwhile, approximately 50 percent of African-American and Asian Millennials state they are very proud.

    How would you rate your pride in being a U.S. citizen? (Very Proud)

    For example, the family of 25-year-old White Millennial Suzanne of Syracuse, New York, has been in America for generations. The oldest of three children, Suzanne believes that being an American is about freedom and the freedom of speech that comes with it. However, when asked if she’s proud to be an American, she conveys the sentiments of many White Millennials throughout the country. “I’m not very patriotic; I guess it’s one of those things my friends and I just take for granted.” In fact, holidays celebrating patriotism such as the Fourth of July appear to be more about just getting together with friends instead of celebrating the actual meanings of such holidays.