Hint: It’s probably not what you think
The generational divide between how Millennials are perceived has never been more clear than in a new viral video where a man named Simon Sinek gives an interview, if not all-out rant, against Millennials. He starts out by saying the generation is hard to manage, and accuses Millennials of being entitled, narcissistic, self-interested, unfocused and lazy.
Wow. This guy really doesn’t like Millennials. His rant goes on for another 15 minutes where he criticizes everything from social media to binge watching to the invention of the cell phone. If you have the time, I encourage you to watch it here. And if you’re not sure what’s wrong with Sinek’s argument, check out this counterpoint.
Clearly there is a disconnect between generations.
But don’t take my word for it. All you need to do is head over to the comment boards on HousingWire when the topic is Millennials, including one where a reader stated that Millennials are “whining little blobs of goo.” Still trying to figure out what that one even means – maybe it’s the generational disconnect.
However, a new study from Trulia shows we may not be that different after all. As it turns out, Millennials follow the same patterns as younger versions of Gen Xers, Baby Boomers and even the Silent Generation.
The study looked at young adults from the ages of 28 through 32, those that are old enough to be out of college but still new to the labor market. It then compared them to older adults in their prime working age, from 33 to 55.
Today, 14.5% of older Millennials live with their parents or grandparents, compared to 5.5% of those ages 33 to 55. This shows Millennials were 2.7 times more likely to live with their parents than older generations.
However, now let’s compare that to Gen Xers. Using the same criteria, in 1999, Gen Xers were 2.2 times more likely to live at home than older generations.
If we look even further back, we see that Baby Boomers were actually more likely to live with their parents than Millennials are today. In 1982, older Baby Boomers were 2.8 times more likely to live with their parents.
The study also showed that across all generations, in bad economic times, young adults were the most affected as they were the first to lose their jobs and therefore lived at home at higher rates.
So where are Millennials actually struggling? It may come as no surprise – buying a home. While the number of Millennials striking out on their own is comparable to older generations, many opt out of homeownership and choose to rent instead.
Millennials who don’t live with their parents owned homes at 61.9% of the rate of their older peers – the lowest rate of homeownership since 1975. Why? Perhaps, as Trulia’s study indicates, it is because young adults are increasingly delaying marriage and having kids. Maybe we want to live in downtown urban areas, without regard to how much we pay in rent, or it could be that home prices just won’t quit rising.
Either way, the study shows the only real difference between Millennials and previous generations is that Millennials pay their landlord, whereas older generations paid the bank.