Marketers focus a lot of energy on Millennials. Their lives are deconstructed on many different levels, from their entertainment choices to their views on companies’ ethics and their socioeconomic characteristics. 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 most recent data out from the Census Bureau gives a sense of how large this coveted generation is.
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 27-43? Somehow the 18-34 age range stays fixed despite 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, 2018 (the most recent data made public).
- 12-17: 25.0 million (7.6%) [pop share down year-over-year]
- 18-24: 30.5 million (9.3%) [pop share down]
- 25-34: 45.7 million (14.0%) [pop share up]
- 35-44: 41.3 million (12.6%) [pop share flat]
- 45-54: 41.6 million (12.7%) [pop share down]
- 55-64: 42.3 million (12.9%) [pop share flat]
- 65-74: 30.5 million (9.3%) [pop share up]
- 75+: 21.9 million (6.7%) [pop share up]
Some other popular age groups, including the ever-present 18-34 bracket:
- 18-29: 54.0 million (16.5%) [pop share down]
- 18-34: 76.2 million (23.3%) [pop share flat]
- 18-49: 138.2 million (42.2%) [pop share down]
- 35-49: 62.0 million (19.0%) [pop share flat]
- 50-64: 63.2 million (19.3%) [pop share down]
- 50+: 115.6 million (35.3%) [pop share up]
- 55+: 94.7 million (28.9%) [pop share up]
- 65+: 52.4 million (16.0%) [pop share up]
Want an Excel file showing population estimates by single year of age and gender? We’ve formatted the data for you and made it available for download here.
A couple of fun facts to leave with:
- As of July 1st last year, there were an estimated 93,927 centenarians (100+) in the US, a number that seems to keep growing each year. Some 73,945 – or about 79% – of them were female; and
- 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 (with the lone exception being 38). The biggest disparity in favor of males was for 25-year-olds (125,163 more), while for females it was for 71-year-olds (216,132 more).
Interested in Millennials’ media habits and response to advertising? Check out these reports: