Millennials, generally defined as those ages 18-34, are poised to soon become the nation’s largest living generation. They’ve already surpassed Generation X to make up the largest share of the U.S. workforce.
But despite their standing in numbers, Millennials don’t have a very positive view of their counterparts or themselves, compared to other generations before them.
A Pew Research Center study showed that millennials had far more negative views of their generation compared to Generation Xers, baby boomers or other age-based groups. More than half of millennials, 59 percent, said their generation as “self-absorbed,” while almost half — or 49 percent — said they were “wasteful,” and 43 percent said they were “greedy.”
“On all three dimensions, Millennials are significantly more critical of their generation than older age cohorts are of theirs,” Pew said.
About 30 percent of Generation Xers — those ages 35-50 — said their own generation was self-absorbed and wasteful, and 20 percent of the baby boomers said the same about their age cohort.
The older the group, the more positively they saw themselves, Pew found. The so-called “Silent Generation” — those ages 70-87 — overwhelmingly described themselves as hard-working, responsible and patriotic, at 83 percent, 78 percent and 73 percent respectively. The baby boomers were not far behind, picking those same three words to describe themselves, at 77 percent, 66 percent and 52 percent, respectively.
But the millennials and Gen Xers were not quite so positive about themselves: only 12 percent of the millennials and 26 percent of Generation X say they are patriotic; 24 percent of the millennials and 43 percent of the Gen Xers say they’re responsible; and 36 percent of the millennials and 54 percent of Generation X say they are hard-working.