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On June 25, 2015, the US Census Bureau made it official: Millennials had surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation in the country.
New research narrows the finding even further.
According to data analysis from Torsten Slok, an economist at Deutsche Bank, there are more 26-year-olds in America than people of any other age – 4.75 million of them, to be precise.
Slok’s analysis found that these so-called echo boomers are poised to wield a great deal of influence in the coming years.
Just as baby boomers took over business, politics, and the consumer economy during the 1980s and ’90s, millennials currently in their mid-20s will make up the majority of jobs and big-ticket purchases such as houses and cars, Slok wrote in a recent brief, which was first reported by Axios.
In other words, their behavior would “echo” that of their parents.
Slok’s findings go against much of the research into millennial spending behavior. Increasingly, young people are moving into cities to rent, not buy, and many prefer to spend their money on experiences rather than material goods. Saddled with college debt, some millennials feel they don’t yet have the means to replicate their parents’ behavior.
But another way to read Slok’s findings is that millennials will represent such a large chunk of the spending economy – there are 83 million of them, after all – that what they spend money on won’t matter as much.
Millennials may echo their parents’ behavior in stimulating the economy through spending, but instead of buying new cars and houses, their hallmark behaviors could become ride-sharing and a desire to travel the world.