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Millennial markers: traits of Generation Y

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–Gen Y. Millennials. Generation 2001. New Powerbuilders.
They have as many names as their Generation X “elders,” generally defined as the 44.6 million Americans born between 1965 and 1976. And while they mirror Xers in some ways, Americans born in the last two decades are different in others:
— Unlike many Xers neglected or abused during the chaotic ’60s and ’70s, Gen Y as a group is more wanted, cherished and protected — sometimes overprotected — by its parents. But they fear drugs, crime, being shot at their school bus stop.
— Millennials know technology. Personal computers are their pencil and paper. Nearly 60 percent of households with children age 7 or under have PCs. Any year now, typical term papers will feature PC-based, full-motion video. Gen Ys talk to people all over the world on the Internet, bringing many cultures home.
— Raised and schooled among varied races and cultures, Millennials are shedding old racial prejudices and stereotypes. They expect to see a nonwhite U.S. president elected in their lifetime.
— Nine out of 10 college freshmen have specific goals for the next five years. Three out of four have done volunteer work in the last year. Two out of three say a career helping others is more important than making lots of money.
— Millennials trust older people more than Xers and boomers did as teens. People they admire most: Mom and Dad, in that order. Least: Xers. Most admired virtues: honesty and integrity. They’re “good scouts,” says social historian Frank Gregorsky. “Teenagers aren’t as angry as they used to be, and the generation right behind them shows much less hostility and nihilism.”
— One study describes Gen Y as “spontaneous, realistic, action-oriented, alternative, responsive, aggressive, humorous, spirited, passionate.” Another calls today’s youth “globally conscious, environmentally aware, spiritually sensitive, and hands-on.”
— Of teens attending Southern Baptist summer youth conferences last year, 95 percent identified themselves as Christians; 93 percent said they pray daily or weekly; and 64 percent read their Bibles that often. But half admitted they seldom tell others about Jesus.