LS:N Global is a division of: The Future Laboratory

Millennials misunderstood

25 : 04 : 2016 Millennials : The Just Nots : Suburban Living

US – New figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that the average 29-year-old is not college-educated and is more likely to live in the suburbs.

  • The average American has had more than seven jobs before he or she turns 29, and a third of them lasted less than six months
  • People born in the early 1980s are less likely to be home-owners, married and college-educated
  • Some reports suggest that biases in journalistic reporting account for our misunderstood impression of Millennial life

The word ‘Millennial’ has become shorthand for ‘a college-educated young person living in a city’, but recently published figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that this stereotype is far from the truth.

According to the report, the average 29-year-old has not graduated from university, but is likely to have completed ‘some college’ without attaining a bachelor’s degree. The figures drop even lower for black people and Hispanic 29-year-olds, only one in five of whom has a degree.

The survey of 9,000 young men and women across America born between 1980 and 1984 also reveals that young adults increasingly live in the suburbs.

Whether due to low incomes and urban housing shortages or a preference for more space, the average 29-year-old American is more likely to live in less densely populated areas. Ben Casselman, of web magazine FiveThirtyEight, reported that for every 100 Americans aged between 25 and 29 moving into a dense city, 124 are moving from the city to the suburbs.

Although today’s 29-year-olds are less likely to be married than people of the same age just a few decades ago, most 29-year-olds are in a relationship and 60% live with their partner.

The Big Picture

Since 2011 LS:N Global has been tracking The Just Nots, the people who struggle to make ends meet, and never make it onto the property ladder. See our Trend Tracker for more insight.