Students between the ages of 18 and 29 are part of what’s been dubbed the “Millennial Generation,” and, according to a new study by Pew Research, they’re generally more optimistic and satisfied.
The study was conducted mostly via telephone in January. Of the 2,020 participants in the national sample, 830 were in the millennial age group. Findings were compared to previous and recent studies to see how this generation compares to previous generations such as Generation X and the Baby Boomers.
The millennial generation — aside from being more optimistic than previous generations about future opportunities and on its way to becoming the most educated in American history — is also more accepting of taboo subjects like gay marriage and abortion, the study reports.
Sixty-three percent of Millennial participants thought homosexuality should be accepted, while 47 percent of those over the age of 30 disgreed. Only 35 percent over 65 felt the same way.
Only 5 percent of Millennials disapproved of interracial marriage, and while 38 percent over 65 thought it was negative for mothers with children to work outside the home, only 23 percent of Millennials agreed.
Though younger generations are less religious — 64 percent of Millennials maintaining a belief in God compared to 73 percent in those over 30 — those belonging to a religious sect are more likely to believe theirs is the one true religion.
When it comes to matrimony, 75 percent of Millennials have never been married, though having a successful marriage is a top priority — second only to being a good parent.
As for lifestyle, Millennials are defined by their use of technology — 90 percent use the Internet, and 64 percent have texted while driving. Nearly four in 10 had at least one tattoo, and 18 percent have more than six. This is a sharp contrast to the Baby Boomer generation which only had 15 percent of respondents saying they sport body art.
The Pew Research Company specializes in charting social trends. To find out how well you fit these findings, log on to pewresearch.org/millennials and take its quiz: “How Millennial Are You?”