The Millennials were born in the early 1980s (figure 1982) and stopped being born in the early 2000s (figure 2000). So that’s about a twenty-year birth surge of 83 million people, slightly higher than the 75 million Baby Boomers who survive today (net of a rising death count in the past ten years).
You can put their ages today between 18 and 37 and you’ve got a handle on the largest single cohort in the U.S. workforce. (Generation X is less numerous and lies between the Millennials and Baby Boomers. They’re mostly in their early 40s and 50s.)
How are Millennials doing? The answer is they’re all over the place.
This article shows the diversity of results. In DC, a rich, low unemployment and active area, Millennials rank last in the country with a “71” score (“100’ being zero jobs and zero school attendance). Meanwhile, in New Jersey, a state with serious fiscal and employment problems, Millennials rank “28.71” in the country, the best score of any state or DC.
There’s lots of information behind these rankings available in this article. The largest negative factors are lack of post-high-school education, obesity, drug use, and homelessness. The biggest positive factors are college education, good health, low drug use and a low rate of homelessness.
The good news is that all of these issues can be addressed by public policy. The bad news is that not every state has the resources to do so. There is room for federal intervention here, but it should be light-handed and leave a lot of the on-the-ground decisions up to state officials closest to the problem.
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