There is no such thing as ‘adults’. In America, for example, grown-up Millennials (aged 18 to 33) are strikingly different from the previous generations. They surely have their own ways of dealing with adulthood.
Losing my religion
In the land of the free, half the GenYers now describe themselves as politically independent and about 3 in 10 say they are not affiliated with any religion. These are the highest levels of disaffiliation recorded for any generation. American Millennials have also been keeping a distance from marriage. A mere 26% of this folks is married. At the same age, 36% of Generation X, 48% of the Baby Boomers and 65% of the Silent Generation members had already taken this step.
Do not get me wrong, adult Millennials have certainly not lost their beliefs. At the past two elections they clearly voted Democratic and they generally stand out for liberal views on same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization (among other social issues of course). 69% of the unmarried Millennials says to be waiting to tie the knot until their financial situation is solid. These young adults value independence and ownership very highly.
Born in the USA (and online)
While GenY became less attached to institutions, they became more attached to their online identity. Being the first ‘digital natives’, they never had to adapt to social media or mobile technology as their parents had to. Ask your mom or dad what a ‘selfie’ is. Only 6 in 10 Boomers know what it means, while fully 55% of the new American adults has already posted one. Obviously they are the most eager adult consumers of bits and bytes but they are also upbeat about the Stars and Stripes. For example, only about half (49%) the Millennials say the phrase “a patriotic person” describes them very well – with 35% saying this is a “perfect” description.
There definitely is optimism about their nation’s future, as 49% says the country’s best years are ahead. This stands in contrast with their parents’ attitude back in the days. It is true: today’s young adults did not have to force civil and women’s rights in turbulent times, but they do have their own concerns. Think about higher levels of student loan debt, poverty and unemployment. Or lower levels of wealth and personal income than the two previous generations.
Despite these financial worries, Millennials are the United States’ most stubborn economic optimists. More than 8 in 10 say either to currently have enough money to lead the lives they want (32%) or to expect to in the future (53%).
I tell you: the kids are alright. Above all, these young adults are a positive generation.