Steadfast FinancesBest Reads of the Week: The Demographic Profile of Millennials Edition - Steadfast Finances

Best Reads of the Week: The Demographic Profile of Millennials Edition

Filed in Administration 6 comments

Being a student of social anthropology, I always find generational studies particularly interesting because they ask wide array of behavioral, economic, and big picture questions that have a fairly good chance of impacting the future path of a country.

This demographic profile, from the Pew Center on the American Millennial generation (aka Gen Y), is one of the most eye opening that I’ve seen in a while.

[RSS and email readers may need to click to site for video]


  • Millennials are the most diverse demographic in U.S. history.
  • More than 4 out of 5 sleep with their mobile phone nearby.
  • Gen Y is the most liberal generation in U.S. history.
  • Believes “big government” is a positive thing.
  • On track to be the most educated generation in U.S. history

Of course, if you’re a Gen Y member or you interact with them on a regular basis, none of this is really news to you. But from a business or political standpoint, much of this data will be highly influential in the way marketers attempt to sell you their products/services or the way political candidates try to persuade you for your vote come election day.

To dig a little deeper, I would have been curious to know what percentage of Millennials earn their income from a single source, or had multiple income streams. From the interactions that I’ve had with my < 30 aged friends, it seems that a minimum of 1 in 4 has a blog, has a second job, or doing something outside of their normal 9 to 5 job as a side income hustle.

If anything pops out about the study that you find interesting, be sure to leave a comment below.

Best Reads of the Week

Articles from the last week that stimulated more than two neurons…

Fiscal Fizzle - There’s No Such Thing as Passive Income.

Interesting article that generated lots of discussion, but I’m not so sure that I agree with the conclusions. I’m of the philosophy that no income source is 100% passive, but just because a business idea or investment isn’t a “fire and forget” missile, doesn’t mean you should ignore the income generating potential.

Minneapolis Star Tribune - Real frugality means carefully using your limited resources.

Excellent example of the “new frugality”…

Being frugal doesn’t mean being stingy, miserly or downright cheap. The true spirit of frugality is to be mindful of how you use your limited resources. To be prudent with your money. To buy the best of what you need but no more. To avoid waste.

Slate - A parable about how one nation came to financial ruin.

If you’re a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder, and you aren’t familiar with the name Charles Munger yet, you might want to give this a read and gain a few insights into how your Executive VP’s mind works when it comes to investing. Basically, he’s just like Buffett with a more outspoken tone and without the witty sound bites.

Marketplace Public RadioBanks: Like fragile little girls.

Leave it to Bill Maher to come up with the most humorous way to say what we’re all angry about.

LifeHackerThe Best Times to Buy Anything, All Year Round

If you’re a bargain hunter, you’ll love this detailed chart of the best time to buy those higher end items you’re always trying to say money on.


I participated in a few carnivals over the last two weeks:

Money Hackers Carnival at Live Real Now.

Carnival of Personal Finance at Budgets Are Sexy.

Carnival of Debt Reduction at Ask Mr. Credit Card.

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Posted by CJ   @   28 February 2010 6 comments
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Mar 1, 2010
2:44 am
#1 Jeremy :

> More than 4 out of 5 sleep with their mobile phone nearby.

I use my mobile phone as an alarm clock.

Mar 1, 2010
7:44 am
#2 Ariel :

I believe I’m in this generation, I’m under 30 at least… what are the cut offs? :)

I have a blog and 2 jobs, interesting that so many do. I think its wonderful that the younger generations are educated and aware of the impact the economy has had on so many people.

That gives me hope for the future and for entrepreneurship and innovation.

Mar 1, 2010
8:58 am

Definitely agree with the blog/side income observation (although many of my friends still don’t know what a blog is). I can say though, that unlike my colleagues in this generation, I am not as liberal, and I do NOT like sleeping near my phone (in fact, I’ll turn it off most of the time). But in general, I think the assessment is true for those I know.

Thanks for featuring the discussion on passive income, by the way! The comments really got me thinking about how to define it, and whether the technicalities of the “term” are all that important.

Mar 1, 2010
10:56 am
#4 Matt SF :

Even though I miss Gen Y by 3 years, I used to do the same when traveling. Never trusted the hotel wake up call.

Mar 1, 2010
11:04 am
#5 Matt SF :

I believe the cut offs are 18 to 29 (at present date of 2010).

When you consider that consider that being placed in a higher education environment usually stimulates individual creativity, the entrepreneurial ideas certainly have a greater chance of going from neurons to paper to prototype with greater frequency.

That’s probably why I like following Gen Y so much… with ideas being so easily transmitted with social media, all it takes is a spark and an idea.

Mar 1, 2010
11:12 am
#6 Matt SF :

Absolutely! 1 in 4 definitely isn’t a big number, and the majority of my friends still tease me for even having a Twitter account, but what is interesting for me is the growth of the microtrend (say < 2%) to a full fledged trend (say ~ 25%).

I've always thought that being liberal vs. conservative is a byproduct of your environment. If you grew up in a conservative place, and had positive reinforcement across the board, you have a good chance of being conservative. Vice versa for being liberal. Toss in the social pressure of herding, and it's a reasonable thesis.

However, with social media and wireless devices allowing us to communicate over vast distances in mere seconds, the formation of personal bonds of Internet based "tribes" (a Seth Godin idea), environment may become less of an issue in the future.

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