A survey by LIMRA found that less than half of millennials identify with that label, compared to almost two-thirds of Gen X and boomer respondents who connected with their respective identifiers.
In a survey released this year, just 44% of millennials said they think the term describes them well.
Part of why so few millennials connect with that label, according to Cecilia Shiner, assistant research director at LIMRA, is that it’s a fairly new name.
“This generation has had a variety of labels: echo boomers, boomerang generation, Gen Y,” she told ThinkAdvisor on Monday. “It’s so new, and it takes time for these labels to sink in. Baby boomers weren’t called baby boomers since the beginning,” she pointed out.
Millennials get a bit of a bad rap, too. “We do see an extended young adulthood with millennials,” Shiner acknowledged. “I think that has had an effect on how they’re viewed, as well as the perceived entitlement issue.”
Shiner said the survey found millennial respondents agreed that their generation was entitled.
“I think as this group ages, those kinds of negative associations will diminish,” Shiner said,
Women were less likely than men to agree with positive representations of their generation, Shiner said. Male millennials were much more likely than women to say their generation was optimistic, cooperative and realistic.
Smaller but still significant gaps exist between men and women who say millennials are smart, responsible, hard-working and self-reliant.