Stereotypes pertaining to the current generation have varied widely over the past few years. Millennials fall into the age range of 18-33. These stereotypical beliefs often range from dating culture, success rates, substance abuse, religiousness, the rate of pregnancy/STDS and our spending habits. Often times these cliché ideas that exist have a way of overshadowing the true facts and numbers.
One of top stereotypes that have been circulating around is that this generation is the laziest one to exist, causing it to be less successful than other generations. This generation is known for being social media savvy and entitled, as opposed to being goal oriented and independent.
Millennials today are also ridiculed for the supposed lack of productivity, but what do the numbers say?
In 2014, Bentley University released a survey proving that millennials are the true entrepreneur generation. Over seventy-seven percent of survey respondents agreed that, “Flexible work hours are a key to boosting productivity in their generation.”
In a follow up study in 2015, marketing charts studying the applicability of generational traits, determined that 35 percent of millennials are entrepreneurial, while previous generations meet from 32-35 percent of entrepreneurial characteristics, proving millennials to be just as successful [if not more] than previous generations.
In addition to this stereotype, is the perception that this generation is overly irresponsible with their money and splurges on material items, instead of saving up for reasonable necessities.
According to Accenture’s global market research, the 80 million millennials in the US spend over $600 billion dollars shopping each year.
Numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, indicate that millennials spent 7 percent more than the average American on apparel in 2015. Based on a recent report from Merrill Lynch, millennial spending habits will likely increase, as 61 percent of millennials expect to spend more within the remainder of this year.
Another popular belief regarding this generation is that they do not take dating seriously. It is said that they don’t know how to date, due to the increase of digital dating apps such as Tinder, giving them the ability to just meet and hook up with people.
This infamous ideology is that casual hook-ups are glorified, rather than stable relationships. It has been proven that the terms “boyfriend,” “girlfriend” and “fiancé” are being used less and less used by this generation, and that enjoying the single, uncommitted life is more common.
According to Gallup poll, only 16 percent of people between the ages of 18-29 were married in 2014, while only 14 percent were living with their significant other, which proves that millennials aren’t in a hurry to settle down, and that they’d prefer to keep it casual.
This differs from other generations, according to FSMD (FastStats for Marriage and Divorce), due to the fact that baby boomers and generation X have higher marriage rates, but also have rapidly increasing divorce rates as well due to changes in social attributes.
In relation to dating culture, an additional stereotype of this generation argues that the rate of pregnancy and STDs are at an all-time high, and that they’re still rapidly increasing.
As stated by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the millennial pregnancy rate has actually decreased 37 percent over the past two decades.
As for STDs, there has been a rise, due to a lack of prevention methods being used by the current generation. DoSomething.org statistics found that individuals between the ages of 15-24 account for 50 percent of all new STDs. Teen girls account for 51 percent, while teen guys account for 49 percent of this data.
Religion among the millennials is one of the most talked about stereotypes to exist.
Many would agree that this generation is less religious, and that it’s easier for millennials to choose a path that doesn’t include attending church, reading a bible or praying.
Many in the current generation grew up attending church as their parents and grandparents did, and ended up choosing a different path years later.
The Pew Research Center found that individuals from 18-29 are typically less religious than older generations.
One in four adults under the age of 30 in the U.S. consider themselves to be an atheist. Worldwide, over 84 percent of people are committed to a religion, and that the remaining 16 percent is mostly made up of young people. This stereotype has therefore been proven correct.
The last major millennial myth in existence is the increasing rate of substance abuse within this generation. There has been proof of experimental illegal drug use with young people but is it an ongoing cause?
The U.S Department of Health and Human Services found that cigarette smoking amongst adolescents has declined within the past 15 years, and when smoking does occur, it is smokeless tobacco, vaporizers (e-cigs) or marijuana.
Drugfree.org confirms that one in ten Americans over the age of 12 is addicted to drugs. Marijuana use has increased since 2007, while the use of most other drugs have declined.
What does all of this prove? Regardless of the cliché ideas that are circulating about millennials and the condition of our future, based on the numbers, everything is rolling smoothly.