So How Many Millennials Are There in the US, Anyway? (Updated)

Marketers focus a lot of energy on Millennials. Their lives are deconstructed on many different levels, from their media habits to their investment priorities. Those analyses are all helpful in their own right, but –  stepping back to the big picture for a moment – how many of these prized individuals are there in the US? The latest data out from the Census Bureau gives a sense of how large this coveted generation is.

NOTE: Given your interest in Millennials, why don’t you check out our premium reports:

– (3rd Edition) US Media Audience Demographics – offering a look at Millennials’ share of media audiences for cross-channel TV, radio, print, and social media.

– (3rd Edition) Advertising Channels With the Largest Purchase Influence on Consumers – providing insights as to how Millennials respond to ads.

Marketing Financial Services to Millennials – a comprehensive analysis of the group that represents the majority of new primary bank relationships in the US.

Marketing to Young City Solos – a window into the lifestyles and media habits of the young, urban and hip.

Before putting out some numbers, there are a few problems to take note of. Chiefly, there is no consensus definition of a Millennial; while 18-34 seems to be the most commonly used bracket, other studies might use an 18-29 range or some other, making it necessary to identify age ranges when referring to this cohort.

Another issue? Consider this. If a 2010 study defined Millennials as being aged 18-34, shouldn’t the same study this year define them as being aged 25-41? Somehow the age range stays fixed with the passage of time…

Meanwhile, it’s also worth noting that most Millennials don’t even identify as Millennials, and a young Gen Xer might feel more culturally similar to Gen Y. In other words, cultural and behavioral tendencies don’t tend to have fixed age breaks. (That’s why many argue that it’s more useful to look at personas rather than age brackets.)

Nevertheless, things being the way they are, marketers and researchers often look at age brackets. So here’s a reference list of some commonly used age brackets and their corresponding population estimates and population shares as of July 1st, 2016.

  • -12-17: 25 million (7.7%) [pop share down y-o-y]
  • -18-24: 30.8 million (9.5%) [pop share down]
  • -25-34: 44.7 million (13.8%) [pop share up]
  • -35-44: 40.5 million (12.5%) [pop share down]
  • -45-54: 42.8 million (13.2%) [pop share down]
  • -55-64: 41.5 million (12.8%) [pop share up]
  • -65-74: 28.6 million (8.9%) [pop share up]
  • -75+:    20.6 million (6.4%) [pop share up]

Some other popular age groups, including the ever-present 18-34 bracket:

  • -18-29: 53.7 million (16.6%) [pop share down]
  • -18-34: 75.5 million (23.4%) [pop share flat]
  • -18-49: 136.9 million (42.4%) [pop share down]
  • -35-49: 61.4 million (19.0%) [pop share down]
  • -50-64: 63.3 million (19.6%) [pop share down]
  • -51-68: 72.6 million (22.5%) [pop share flat]
  • -55+:    90.7 million (28.1%) [pop share up]
  • -65+:    49.2 million (15.2%) [pop share up]

For more on the important Baby Boomer demographic, see MarketingCharts’ report, “Advertising to Baby Boomers: The Why and How” [download page].

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    Interested in a specific age or more detailed figures by group? Visit the interactive chart below and use the tooltips for exact figures, or download the Excel spreadsheet right above this paragraph – which also provides gender breakdowns for each age – and sum up the specified ranges. (Please note that the file will download with a “.xlsx.html” file extension. Please remove the “.html” from the extension to enable the file to open correctly.)

    A few fun facts to leave with:

    • -As of July 1st last year, there were an estimated 81,896 centenarians (100+) in the US. Some 65,554 – or about 80% – of them were female;
    • -There were more males than females for each single year of age from newborn through age 36, but then more females than males for each single year of age from 37 onwards. The biggest disparity in favor of males was for 23-year-olds (131,694 more), while for females it was for 86-year-olds (201,738 more); and
    • -The US population was projected to pass the 325 million mark on Sunday May 7th, 2017.