Characteristics of the Millennial Generation

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It is common to hear the term millennial being used to refer to a group of individuals within a particular population. According to the Pew Research Center, the term millennial can be used to describe the generation of individuals who were born after 1980. The individuals that make up this generation are said to have come of age after the turn of the century in the years after 2000. In this current time, most of the individuals within the millennial group are aged between 23 and 35 years, an age group that comprises most of the youth. The classification of millennials is therefore based on the age group of the individuals. As a result, various characteristics have been mainly associated with millennials owing to what appeals to their age and them. Various distinctions have been made in the various areas of life to define millennials approaches. These distinctions tend to associate millennials with a particular way of doing things in comparison with how other earlier generations approach the same activities. Understanding the character of the millennial generation is important in helping engage them in essential activities within the institutions of learning, the working places and the various socio-political activities they undertake. In this paper, the distinctive characteristics of millennials are discussed in the various areas of life activities including social, political and economic environments.

The millennial generation is primarily classified based on the ages of the individuals, their years of birth and present ages. However, it is their actions and approaches to the major life activities that distinguish them from the other generations. Their pro-active and self-aware social nature makes them a distinct lot among these generations. Age-wise, these individuals are considered to be between the age of 23 and 35. They make up the largest populations of any of the three generations, also including generation X and the baby boomers generation. In areas where they are involved, they are best known for being digitally perceptive, highly creative, goal-oriented, socially focussed and great team players.[1]

Within the economic and business world, it is believed that the appropriate engagement and retention of the strength exhibited in the millennial generation characteristics is important in ensuring economic success. According to studies, the internalization of the brand of the company in the form of employee work behavior is important.[2] The ability of human resource departments to bring together the key strengths of the millennial generation individuals within their organizations is therefore essential. This may involve an analysis of their key characteristics and their orientations at work, and the challenges that the organization is exposed to their engagement. Individuals within the millennial generation are known for their creative and active social nature. They are also regarded as focused and collaborative individuals. Due to the association of the millennial generation employees with focus and teamwork, it is important that very organization set up appropriate strategies to pick out the best of this generation, develop them and retain them to help in contributing to the internalization of the organization’s brand.[3]

As an enthusiastic technology generation that is result-oriented, engaging the millennial generation within the learning environment requires the adoption of appropriate strategies that befits their characteristics. These individuals can easily adapt and share a learning knowledge using the various modern techniques used in education and instructional learning. Educators need to understand that the millennial generation is comfortable with using technology and applying it to almost every activity, they are engaged. They also need to the need for an interactive learning environment that allows for the collaboration among peers and personalized feedback on the learning experience.[4] It is predicted that through the use of innovative technologies in learning that make use of and improve the outlined features is essential. The individuals can share important instructional materials among their social networks, ensuring a quick and highly efficient learning process. It ensures that the participation of the millennial generation students will be increased and active learning will be further enhanced in the process.

In an analysis of the engagement of millennial generation in civic leadership, it has been established that they are more effective in holding these leadership positions especially in their advanced ages (30 and above). At this age, the individuals have acquired relevant experience in their areas of specialization and can effectively replicate this in leadership positions. Since they are socially active further build their experiences upon the success and challenges experienced by the preceding generations they are in contact. According to research, the individuals that make up the millennial generation have key leadership strengths including, age and experience; they make up the largest number of individuals on the globe, the exhibit high autonomy and confidence in the skills that they possess. These characteristics have enabled them to take responsibility and charge of larger groups of people.[5]

Research further indicates that they can source out feedback on the performance of the tasks they are in charge of at the workplace. The adaption and incorporation of modern technology also make them more optimistic and sophisticated leaders who can process information quickly. They can effectively leverage on the advantages associated with technology use in organizational success. Also, it has been established that they are more flexible and are more likely to carry out their duties without many rules as they instill self-drive in their employees. Still, their collaborative nature is essential in helping them establish and effectively coordinate team performance within their organizations.

The social life of the millennial generation is one of the most debatable characteristics of this group. The millennial generation has revolutionized social networking by helping drive changes in communication and information technology. The enhanced social networking techniques have enabled them to enhance relationships among themselves and also across all generations. Regarding social status, class, and perspectives, they are considered more diverse racially and ethnically in comparison to the older generations. Their confidence, liberal, self-expressive and upbeat attitude is unmatched among the various generations currently under study. This has helped the millennial generation to permeate among various social boundaries and remain united based on the shared social characteristics. Self-expression among the millennial generation is multifaceted including the use of social networking and body art including tattoo and piercings. However, their value for privacy is indicated by the presence of limited entry into their personal lives. Their struggles to attain and retain jobs remains one of the ways that make them optimistic about meeting their financial goals in the long-run. The religious affiliation of many individuals among the millennial generation is unknown with most of them unaffiliated to any group. However, their lack of belonging does not translate into unbelief as most of them are prayerful as much as the previous generations. The social behavior exhibited by these individuals is one full of self-awareness, focus, and optimism for the future.

Further studies indicate that the social behavior of these individuals has impacted their political affiliations as well. They are likely to back-up a political candidate that has special interests, especially those that directly address their concerns. In America, the youth made up one of the largest support for Obama in 2008 presidential campaign. [6]  They are more likely to support individuals that represent a progressive social agenda. However, they remain free-minded individuals who are open to discerning various political ideologies from the various candidates. It has also been established that they have the reluctance to take up the initiative to run for political positions, with only a few of them interested in leadership through politics as a stepping stone.

It is therefore evident that the millennial generation is made up of socially diverse and gifted individuals who are optimistic about the future. Studies have indicated that millennial generation individuals are more likely to transform the future having witnessed the successes and failures of the past generations. This generation has explored efficiently modern technology, and most of them are using it for transforming their lives and the outlook of their societies. Currently, there are several running businesses in various parts of the world that have been incorporated by individuals within the millennial generation. This observation does not only affirm the optimism and achievements of these individuals but also rebuffs the old-age belief that individuals within this generation are lazy and unmotivated for the future.


Devaney, Sharon. “Understanding the Millennial Generation”. Journal of Financial Service Professionals

69, 6 (2015): 11-14.

Hunter, Susan and Mary McCurry. “Engaging Millennial Learners: Effectiveness of Personal Response System Technology with Nursing Students in Small and Large Classrooms.” Journal of Nursing Education 49, 5 (2010): 272-275.

Ozcelik, Gaye. “Engagement and Retention of the Millennial Generation in the Workplace through Internal Branding”. International Journal of Business and Management 10, 3 (2015): 99-107.

Pew Research Center. “Millennials.”  Pew Research Center. 18 Feb 2018.

Rainge, Sierra. “Three Reasons why Millennials are the World’s Future Moguls.” Forbes. 18 Feb. 2018.

[1] Sharon Devaney, “Understanding the Millennial Generation,” Journal of Financial Service Professionals 69, 6 (2015): 12.

[2] Gaye Ozcelik, “Engagement and Retention of the Millennial Generation in the Workplace through Internal Branding,” International Journal of Business and Management 10, 3 (2015): 103


[4] Susan Hunter and Mary McCurry, “Engaging Millennial Learners: Effectiveness of Personal Response System Technology with Nursing Students in Small and Large Classrooms,” Journal of Nursing Education 49, 5 (2010): 273.

[5] Sierra Rainge, “Three Reasons why Millennials are the World’s Future Moguls,” Forbes, 18 Feb. 2018,

[6] Pew Research Center, “Millennials,”  Pew Research Center, 18 Feb 2018,

December 12, 2023

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