Talkin' 'Bout Our Generations: Baby Boomers and Millennials in the United States
Sandra Colby, U.S. Census Bureau
Frank Hobbs, U.S. Census Bureau
Over the next several years, baby boomers will continue to transition into retirement and old age as millennials (including echo boomers) pass through the traditional benchmarks of adulthood (e.g., completing college, finding employment, and establishing independent households). The future direction of each of these groups is of increasing interest to researchers as well as to policymakers and the general public. This paper provides a demographic foundation for understanding the importance of these generations by first characterizing their membership and then analyzing projected changes in their composition over time. U.S. Census Bureau data are used to track baby boomers and millennials through their past, present and future. Distinctions are drawn between these generations on key demographic and socioeconomic variables at different stages of the life course.