Your generation is usually defined by a phrase.
1900-1924 - G.I. Generation, so named because a great deal of those born between these years served in the Armed Forces or supported them while at home.
1925-1945 - Silent Generation, and we can’t seem to find a reason for the “silent” part, considering that many of the greatest civil rights leaders of the 20th century were born during these years. It might have something to do with how small the generation was — economic insecurity led to fewer births in this time span.
1946-1964 - Baby Boomers, because everyone was so relieved to see the end of the World War II and enjoyed new economic prosperity that they decided to settle down, get married and have children.
1965-1979 - Generation X, coined from the book title from author Douglas Coupland about a group of people who didn’t want to be defined by class, status or money. Something about the characters in the book rang true with the media about that generation, leading them to tie the two together forever.
1980-2000 - Millennials or Generation Y. The “Y” is probably because it comes after “X” in the alphabet, but many suggest that this generation is challenging the traditions and values held by generations before and asking that age-old question “why?” about everything.
And there’s a pretty big difference between the Millennials and the generations before. A recent Pew Research Center study showed just how stark of a contrast there was between generations.
For example, Millennials are just not as likely to get married. Only about one-fourth, or 26 percent, are married. Compare that to other generations when they were the same age: Generation X, 36 percent; Baby Boomers, 48 percent; Silent Generation, 65 percent.
“Most unmarried Millennials (69 percent) say they would like to marry, but many, especially those with lower levels of income and education, lack what they deem to be a necessary prerequisite — a solid economic foundation,” the Pew Center reports.
They are also a lot more likely to have a child out of wedlock, and lead all generations in that statistic. Two years ago, 47 percent of children were born to unmarried Millennial women. That’s a big shift, considering that at about the same age within the same generation, Gen Xers had about 35 percent of births outside of marriage.
Millennials aren’t very religious, either. Or rather, they don’t necessarily identify with a particular religion.
“This generation’s religious views and behaviors are quite different from older age groups,” the Pew Center reports. “Not only are they less likely than older generations to be affiliated with any religion, they are also less likely to say they believe in God.”
About 86 percent say they believe in God, but only 58 percent say they are certain God exists.
When it comes to politics, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Millennials are more liberal than previous generations. They are more likely to support the legalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage and support activism.
When it comes to working, well that’s a tough one because times have been tough for the Millennials. A high school degree isn’t cutting it anymore, and an advanced degree puts them at an economic disadvantage.
“Educational attainment is highly correlated with economic success, even more so for this generation than previous ones,” the Pew Report reads. “In an increasingly knowledge-based economy, young adults today who do not advance beyond high school have been paying a much stiffer penalty — in terms of low wages and high unemployment — than their counterparts did one and two generations ago.”
But, that college degree comes at a very high cost — two-thirds have a college debt that averages $27,000. Two decades ago, only half carried such debt, which averaged at $15,000. And what’s worse is that many of the generation were entering the workforce into white-collared jobs when the economy tanked in 2007. Last ones in, first ones laid off. Unemployment is high.
So with such a stark difference between this generation and the ones before, we decided to ask our readers what they wished the Millennials would value more.
We took the question to our interactive poll question, which can be found each week at www.timeswv.com. Last week, we asked, “A recent poll shows vast differences between the Millennial generation and those before it. What do you wish this generation would value more?”
And here’s what you had to say:
• Politics — 0 percent
• Religion — 26.19 percent
• Family — 29.76 percent
• A hard day’s work — 44.05 percent
Maybe when they get a bit older.
This week, let’s talk about the “5 Second Rule” about dropped food. A new university study suggests that, generally, food dropped on the floor is mostly free of harmful bacteria within a five-second span. So, do you follow the rule?
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond online.
Your generation is usually defined by a phrase.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
County honors men who gave all in helping their community
The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.
State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less
The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
Let’s not do that again.
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- Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial