When the term "millennial" became more popularized over the years, the idea was that it referred to a generation of rebellious, reject-all-previous-generational-norms-type of young people, who at times are even described as narcissistic (I reject that classification as a millennial-card carrying member myself). But whether you agree or disagree with some of these descriptions one thing is for sure: More and more millennials are becoming parents. And millennial parents' incomes, and other trends, tells us more about the generation.
There are certainly a lot of analyses about the millennial lifestyle as it relates to employment trends, relationships, family, social issues, and entertainment. As the Pew Research Center defines it, the millennial generation entails anyone born after 1980 – essentially the first generation of people to come of age in the millennium.
Research about millennial parents tend to intertwine with other attributes typically assigned to the millennial generation. For an example, the White House's Council of Economic Advisors released a report in 2014, detailing personal economic trends associated with millennials. Its research found that millennials tend to get married and/or start families, on average, in later years than previous generations.
The reasoning appeared to be tied to millennials focusing on establishing a career first. And as highlighted earlier in the report, although millennials have reportedly seen declines in unemployment rates, the generation has experienced significant challenges in the workforce given the years of recession around 2008. The report read:
Millennials are currently about a third of the labor force and, as a generation, they have faced substantial challenges in entering the workforce during the most pronounced downturn since the Great Recession.
Website MillennialMarketing.com, cited to a two-part study called: Millennials as New Parents, in which the research found that 10.8 million millennials have children. The study found that the median household income for millennial parents was $50,000.
But, overall, research continues to show that millennials are having children later, going to college at higher rates than previous generations, and are apparently more focused on establishing a career first – which could all be factors interestingly connected to incomes as a result.
And while trends show that millennials are starting families later on in life, according to a 2010 Pew Research Center report, a majority of millennials reportedly still find starting a family to be very important:
A 2010 Pew Research survey found that 52 [percent] of Millennials say being a good parent is ― 'one of the most important things' in life. Just 30 [percent] say the same about having a successful marriage–meaning there is a 22 percentage point gap in the way Millennials value parenthood over marriage.
There's a lot of factors and characteristics (whether you deem positive or negative) to consider when analyzing the millennial generation. Hopefully, as the economy continues to pick up speed as it has over the past eight years, millennial parent incomes will increase.