Two Generations in One, Part 2?

Posted On April 12, 2012

As we’ve noted here before, it often makes sense to treat Baby Boomers as two generations in one. The Early Boomers and the Late Boomers (aka Generation Jones) differ in some experiences and values. Now, some new market research suggests that Millennials may also be divided into two subgroups based on their different experiences of the Great Recession

The study, conducted by marketing faculty at UMass, shows that older Millennials values have changed more due to their experience of the recession. That makes sense because Millennials in their 20s and 30s have been more exposed to the effects of the downturn, especially unemployment, at a life stage when many are on their own. Consequently, older Millennials are now more likely to embrace values like “piety” and “thrift” and to be engaged in politics.

Meanwhile, younger Millennials who have been teens and preteens during the difficult economy are more likely to exhibit the “carpe diem” values that the generation is known for, concerned with fun and pleasure.  Again, that makes sense because many of them would have been insulated from the direct consequences of the recession.

It also makes sense that, like the Boomers, such a large generation (spanning 20 years from 1980-2000 in birth years) would exhibit some differences. Time will tell if these differences sharpen or fade but it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Categories: Recession Economy