Over the past 50 years – from the Silent Generation’s young adulthood to that of Millennials today – the United States has undergone various cultural and societal shifts. Now that the youngest Millennials are in their 20s, Pew Research Center has done a comprehensive update of their prior demographic work on generations. Millennials are better educated – a factor tied to employment and financial well-being – but there is a sharp divide between the economic fortunes of those who have a college education and those who don’t.
Voter turnout will play an important role in determining the relative electoral influence of different racial and ethnic groups. While demographic changes unfold slowly, it’s already clear that the 2020 electorate will be unique in several ways. Nonwhites will account for a third of eligible voters – their largest share ever – driven by long-term increases among certain groups, especially Hispanics. At the same time, one-in-ten eligible voters will be members of Generation Z, the Americans who will be between the ages 18 and 23 next year. That will occur as Millennials and all other older generations account for a smaller share of eligible voters than they did in 2016.