Millennials: tattooed, plugged in, open minded

Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:22am EST
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By Ed Stoddard

DALLAS (Reuters Life!) - If you sport a tattoo, voted for Barack Obama, and have a profile on a social networking site, then chances are you are one of the 50 million Americans dubbed the "Millennial" generation.

This is the current crop of 18 to 29-year-olds that has come of age in the new millennium and their lifestyles, views and outlooks have been profiled in a large new study released on Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.

"Millennials are confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change. They are more ethnically and racially diverse than older adults. They're less religious, less likely to have served in the military, and are on track to become the most educated generation in American history," Pew said.

"While their search for first jobs and careers has been badly set back by the Great Recession, they are optimistic about their own economic futures and more satisfied than their elders with the state of the nation," it added.

Part of the study unsurprisingly focuses on new technologies as this is history's first generation to grow up "always connected."

It found that 75 percent of Millennials have a profile on a social networking site, compared to 50 percent of Generation Xers (aged 30 to 45) and 30 percent of Baby Boomers (who are now 46 to 64). Just six percent of the over 65 crowd have one.

Being "plugged in" has its consequences and nearly two-thirds admitted to texting while driving -- a public safety issue which has become a major concern nationwide.

Millennials were big supporters of Obama during the 2008 presidential election, giving him 66 percent of their vote, but their enthusiasm for the Democratic Party, while higher than their elders, has also slipped.   Continued...