it's a millennial thing. Sure, you know China surpassed the United States to become the world's largest economy, but did you know the millennial generation surpassed the baby boomers to become the largest generation here in America? According to Pew Research, there were about 75.3 million millennials (born from 1981 to 1997) at the end of 2014 and about 74.9 million baby boomers (born from 1946 to 1964).
It's no secret baby boomers have had a profound affect on the American economy. History.com reported:
"Baby boomers bought mouse-ear hats to wear while they watched "The Mickey Mouse Club" and coonskin caps to wear while they watched Walt Disney's TV specials about Davy Crockett. They bought rock and roll records, danced along with "American Bandstand," and swooned over Elvis Presley. They collected hula hoops, Frisbees, and Barbie dolls. A 1958 story in Life magazine declared "kids" were a "built-in recession cure."
As they retire, the baby boomers are expected to have a profound influence on health and wellness providers, pharmaceutical companies, and others in markets that serve the needs of retired Americans.
The boomer generation has been the focus of investors for so many years it can be easy to forget about the influence of millennials. They've come of age during the Great Recession which curbed their appetite for consumption. Millennials' preference for access rather than ownership sparked the 'sharing economy,' which includes online companies that facilitate the sharing of unused goods. The New York Times reported, "Millions of people are using social media sites, redistribution networks, rentals, and cooperatives to share not only cars but also homes, clothes, tools, toys, and other items at low or near zero marginal cost. The sharing economy had projected revenues of $3.5 billion in 2013."
It's a good idea to keep an eye on demographic change. It can have a profound impact on economies, industries, and companies.