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At the same time, fully a third of older Millennials (ages 26 to 33) have a four-year college degree or more—making them the best-educated cohort of young adults in American history.
Educational attainment is highly correlated with economic success, even more so for this generation than previous ones.
, they are relatively unattached to organized politics and religion, linked by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no rush to marry— and optimistic about the future.
They are also America’s most racially diverse generation.
However, amidst their fervent embrace of all things digital, nine-in-ten Millennials say people generally share too much information about themselves online, a view held by similarly lopsided proportions of all older generations. Some 43% of Millennial adults are non-white, the highest share of any generation.
Millennials are the most racially diverse generation in American history, a trend driven by the large wave of Hispanic and Asian immigrants who have been coming to the U. About half of newborns in America today are non-white, and the Census Bureau projects that the full U. population will be majority non-white sometime around 2043.
In 1972, the first presidential election in which large numbers of Boomers were eligible to vote, they skewed much more Democratic than their elders.
But attitudes formed in early adulthood don’t always stay fixed.
Their racial diversity may partly explain Millennials’ low levels of social trust.A 2007 Pew Research Center analysis found that minorities and low-income adults had lower levels of social trust than other groups.Based on similar findings over many years from other surveys, sociologists have theorized that people who feel vulnerable or disadvantaged for whatever reason find it riskier to trust because they’re less well-fortified to deal with the consequences of misplaced trust.They are also somewhat more upbeat than older adults about America’s future, with 49% of Millennials saying the country’s best years are ahead, a view held by 42% of Gen Xers, 44% of Boomers and 39% of Silents.The relative optimism of today’s young adults stands in contrast to the views of Boomers when they were about the same age as Millennials are now.