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

CensusBureau-Age-Brackets-as-of-Jul2013-June2014Marketers tend to focus a lot of energy on Millennials. Their lives are deconstructed on many different levels, and there’s research to be found on anything ranging from their brand loyalty to their trust in user-generated content and their stance on social issues. 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 demographic is.

Before putting out some numbers, there are a few problems to take note of. Chiefly, there is no consensus definition of a Millennial. There are some widely accepted definitions of Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z, with Gen Y often interchanged with Millennials (guilty as charged – and why it’s always worth noting age ranges when referring to a generation). It’s also worth noting that 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 groups. So here’s a reference list of some commonly used age brackets and their corresponding population estimates and population shares as of July 1st, 2013.

  • 12-17: 25 million (7.9%)
  • 18-24: 31.5 million (10%)
  • 25-34: 42.8 million (13.6%)
  • 35-44: 40.5 million (12.8%)
  • 45-54: 43.8 million (13.8%)
  • 55-64: 39.3 million (12.4%)
  • 65+:    44.7 million (14.1%)

Some other popular brackets:

  • 18-29: 53 million (16.8%)
  • 18-34: 74.3 million (23.5%)
  • 18-49: 135.9 million (43%)
  • 35-49: 65.7 million (20.8%)
  • 50-64: 61.9 million (19.6%)
  • 55+:    84 million (26.6%)

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 at the top of this article – which also provides gender breakdowns for each age – and sum up the specified ranges.

Here are a few fun facts to leave with:

  • As of July 1st last year, there were an estimated 67,347 centenarians (100+) in the US. More than 55,000 – or about 82% – of them were female.
  • The median age of an American last year was 37.6, inching up from 37.5 the prior year. Median age was higher among females (38.9) than males (36.2).
  • The number of Americans aged under 5 was fairly steady at just under 20 million, or 6.3% of the population.
  • The 65-and-older population grew by 3.6% year-over-year in 2013 to 44.6 million. The oldest Baby Boomers became Seniors – for more on the important Baby Boomer demographic, see the new MarketingCharts Debrief, “Advertising to Baby Boomers; The Why and How” [download page].
  • The number of Americans aged 85 and older also grew, by roughly 3% between 2012 and 2013.
  • There were only 10 states where men outnumbered women. Alaska had the highest proportion of men (52.4%), while the District of Columbia had the highest proportion of women (52.6%).

Chart: US Population EstimatesDescription: Census-Bureau-Pop-Estimates-by-Single-Year-of-Age-as-of-July-2013Tags: Author: MarketingChartscharts powered by iCharts