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Millennials overtake baby boomers

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It’s official: More millennials are living in the U.S. than baby boomers. And barring some unforeseen misfortune that befalls only those born between 1981 and 1997, the population gap between the two generations will only widen.

The news comes from the Pew Research Center. Pew took the most recent data from the U.S. census and announced that 75.4 million millennials live in the U.S. today, a half million more than the 74.9 million boomers included in the census.

Pew said millennials took over the top spot in workforce population last year, its 53.5 million workers easing past both boomers (44.6 million) and Gen Xers (52.7 million) in the first quarter of the year. 

The overall numbers for boomers will next be exceeded by Gen Xers — the “small” generation that preceded millennials. Their numbers will bypass boomers in 2028. By that date, Pew estimates, there will be about 65 million in each group.

Meantime, the number of millennials will continue to grow, as more folks in that birth date range immigrate to the U.S. Pew thinks the number of millennials will peak at 81 million in 2036 — by which time there will be about 50 million boomers. In the meantime, the number of Gen Xers will already be in decline by that date.

Perhaps the most important takeaway from the raw numbers is this: Millennials are going to be the dominant group, they’re going to be in charge, so we should all be paying  more attention to those endless studies emerging from think tanks and data crunchers about the characteristics of this surging generation.