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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Demographics is Destiny?

I just came across this link on cities and "peak Millennial" from posts by Digging Data.

We seem to like making broad generalizations when comparing generations. I usually cringe when I hear them because there's rarely much data behind the statements.

In particular, I'm getting tired of hearing how Millenials are so different from any prior generation. I don't see much of it. They show up in my classes. Some are smarter and some not so much. Some are lazy. Some are industrious. Some are liberal, some are conservative, and some don't even think about politics. I could go on but, essentially, they aren't that different from the students who came before them (or the ones before that or the ones before ...).

Still, there is data to support some generalizations about them. As post-college young adults, they - on average - seem more drawn to urban environments. Data supports that. However, some then predicted that their generation would completely revive the urban landscape for decades.

Maybe not. The article linked above says that, even though Millenials are marrying and having children later in life (which is data supported), their housing and community preferences for the married-with-children stage of life might not be all that different from their predecessors:

"But with a view of history and demographics, it’s not difficult to imagine a future where that love [of city life] fades with the years, and a different sort of life starts to seem appealing. Millennials have shown a tendency to delay marriage and children, and thus occupy their studio apartments in urban cores for longer. But that’s no reason not to be concerned that school quality and more space might factor into their choices as they age."