The lower you go on the generational totem pole, the more ethnically diverse you get. Young adults between 18-24 (so-called Millennial) don’t like racial labels because they don’t recognize the dividing lines of the past—they are the vanguard of a “colorblind” culture. But their wildly . diverse life experiences have created an almost-random pattern of values and beliefs, including:
• Four out of 10 Millennials (40%) view their generation more negatively than their parents’ generation. Only a fifth of them (19%) think of their peers more positively than their parents. Of course, young adults see themselves as more tech-savvy than their parents, but they’re also highly self-critical—they see themselves as lazier and more entitled.
• Many have given up on “the American Dream,” but many also believe they’ll eventually be better off financially than their parents. Almost half (45%) say the promised equation—hard work=middle class living—no longer holds true. But almost the same percentage of young adults (42%) expect to make and keep more money than their parents. There’s mild irony in this both/and belief, because almost half (48%) of young adults enjoy the financial booster rocket they get from living at home with… their parents.
• Meanwhile, two-thirds of young adults say one of the biggest problems facing people in the U.S. is an uneven playing field.
Almost all young people (a combined 91%) say that not everyone is given “an equal chance in life,” but 28% of that combined number say it’s nevertheless “no big deal.” With money so much on their mind, it’s no surprise that three-quarters (76%) say that jobs and unemployment are their top concerns.
• They say they’re “Independent” politically, but the truth is they “lean” toward the Democratic Party, ideologically. Almost six out of 10 find more support for their beliefs and values on the left of American politics than on the right.