The New Boom: NPR's Millennials Series

Sep 29, 2014

The New Boom: NPR's Millennials Series

By 2030, the generation known as Millennials -- people who are now between the ages of 18 and 33 -- will outnumber Baby Boomers. Currently there are just as many Millennials as Boomers, and they're making some huge changes in our economy, communication tools, culture and politics.

In a month-long series, NPR examines the Millennials' influence at present and in the future in a multi-platform series directed by the youngest people on NPR's staff. Reporting topics include the value of education, jobs and work, family, buying habits, racial and cultural identity, food, communication, political activism, and sexual and gender values.

 

Morning Edition; Monday, October 6

What's A Millennial?

Pew Research Center defines adult Millennials as being 18 to 33 years old. But how much does a 33-year-old and an 18-year-old have in common? Did they watch the same TV shows and listen to the same music growing up? Are they facing the same job market when they graduate from school? What are the cultural and social links that bind this generation together? NPR’s Sami Yenigun speaks to Millennials across the spectrum, as well as social scientists, to define what NPR means when they say “Millennial.”

 

All Things Considered; Monday, October 6
Defining A Generation

An interview with author Paul Taylor and Millennials, previewing the series and its findings.

 

All Things Considered; Tuesday, October 7
Undereducated, Unemployed

The Millennial narrative often centers around the over-educated and underemployed. But, the "white hipster Lena Dunham Girls" story excludes a large portion of Millennials. More than 40% of this generation are not white. And because this generation is the most educated in recorded history, it’s even harder to survive without a high school diploma or college degree. A recent Pew study found that Millennials (aged 18-33) who never went to college earn $17,500 less per year than their college-educated counterparts. And no one has it worse these days than the undereducated and unemployed, who, also, often happen to be people of color. The story comes out of hyper-educated Boston, where the contrast is stark.

 

Morning Edition; Wednesday, October 8
American Identity
According to the Pew Research Center, fewer than a third of Millennials believe the U.S. is the greatest country in the world. For Gen-X and Baby Boomers, the number is about half, with almost two-thirds of the Silent generation holding that sentiment. More often that members of other generations, Millennials also expressed in surveys the view that the U.S. is one member of a global community, as opposed to the world's dominant superpower. NPR looks at what shaped that view, and how it may affect America's role in the world as this generation gains greater influence.

 

All Things Considered; Thursday, October 9
Millennials and Politics
They're not the Obama-adoring college kids of 2008 anymore. They're the generation hard hit by the economy. And so projections that they are once and forever enthusiastic Democrats will be put to the test of the next few cycles. NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson look at what Millennial engagement will be in a post-Obama world.

 

Morning Edition; Friday, October 10

Still Rocking The Vote
Fewer than one in four voters aged 18-29 say they will definitely be voting in November -- the lowest level of interest seen in many years among that age group, even significantly lower than in the last midterm elections of 2010. The biggest effort to get millennial voters engaged -- or even registered -- is being taken on by Rock the Vote. The group, founded nearly 25 years ago to get young Gen-X'ers to the polls, relaunched in 2014 and is adopting new tactics to engage a new generation of voters.

 

Weekend Edition Saturday, October 11
Environmentalism Is Out?
A Pew Research report from earlier this year shows 44% of Silent Generation and 42% of Boomers say "environmentalist" describes them well. But only 32 percent of millennials felt that way. Why has the label of "environmentalist" become so toxic? NPR’s Chris Benderev reports.

All Things Considered; Monday, October 13
Platforms For Giving
Millennials are a powerful generation not just because they're so many of them, but also because of the way they spend and give away their money. NPR’s Elise Hu reports on how Millennials are changing charity as we know it.

Morning Edition; Wednesday, October 15
Millennials and Marriage
In the Millennial generation, there is a yawning marriage divide. The college-educated are waiting longer than ever to marry, then waiting some more to have kids. Those without a four-year degree are increasingly having children outside marriage, and may never tie the knot at all. Researchers say all this is leading to even greater inequality. NPR’s Jennifer Ludden reports.

All Things Considered; Friday, October 17

Millennials In Hollywood
Hollywood has shifted from confident, wide eyes young people on the move in the ‘90s to dystopian, brooding dark stories a la Hunger Games. NPR's Bilal Qureshi explores what their stories on screen say about the aspirations and struggles of this generation -- and what they say about Hollywood.

All Things Considered; Weekend of October 18

Cohabitation
9.2% of Millennials cohabitate today, compared to just 5.8 percent of Gen Xers when they were a similar age. While there's been lots of handwringing about this, recent research suggests it's not necessarily a bad thing -- at least in terms of divorce rates. And cohabitation leads to one of the more interesting relationship dilemmas of our age: how to break up when you can’t break your lease. NPR’s Connor Donevan reports.