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This is the Life Milestone the Most Millennials Reached This Year

What major life milestones did Millennials tackle this year? From graduation to home buying to getting engaged, we’ve got the low-down on how many accomplished their big goals…

It’s been a big year for Millennials. They’ve been accused of choosing avocado toast over buying homes, given multiple industries headaches with their purchasing choices, and ignited trends in food, fashion, and beyond. But of course, a lot of the talk about the generation continues to focus on their slow moves into adulthood. At the end of 2016, MarketWatch reported that adulting isn’t coming as easy to Millennials as past generations. Data from the Census Bureau revealed that the 30-year-olds of today aren’t hitting the milestones of adulthood like the 30-year-olds of the ‘70s did: “In 1974 three in four 30-year-olds had married, had a child, were not enrolled in school anymore and had lived on their own; in 2015, just one in three could say that.” According to a survey, student debt was cited as a reason for why 56% of Millennials with past or current student loans have delayed a major life event.

But while they’re notoriously late in reaching adult milestones compared to other generations, there are continuous signs that they are reaching them, in their own time. This year, we’ve looked at everything from how they’re buying engagement rings to how they’re approaching parenting in their own way—and we’ve also looked at how many Millennials have actually reached these major goals, and more, this year. With their every move being analyzed, and their overall continued delay of life events like marriage, parenthood, and homeownership picked apart, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that they are moving forward into adulthood. Every December, we ask young consumers about the year they’ve had, and the year ahead—including the life milestones they have reached over the last 12 months and those they believe they’ll see in the next. Here’s what we found in our most recent monthly survey when we asked 18-35-year-olds, “Which of the following major life events if any, have you experienced in the past year?”

So, what milestone have the most Millennials tackled this year? Over a third say that they started a new job in 2017. Naturally, the youngest Millennials were the most likely to say that they had started a new gig this year, with 44% of 18-24-year-olds saying they started a new job over the last 12 months. We know their careers are a focus, 54% of 18-34-year-olds agreeing “My career is my real focus right now” and 64% saying they’re ambitious in our Millennial Employee Handbook research. Of course, some of the 34% who got a new job this year got their first job. But many others likely changed jobs, as the 14% who quit a job clearly indicates, and being offered a higher salary elsewhere is the top reason that they tell Ypulse they would leave a position. Luckily, a quarter tell us that they got a raise or promotion this year—so at least some are getting the increased compensation they crave.

Attending a wedding was the second most-likely milestone reached, so even if they’re not married yet themselves, Millennials likely have matrimony on the brain. While only 5% reported getting married themselves, 6% reported getting engaged, so we’ll at least be likely to see the marriage rate stay steady for the generation in 2018. While not a huge number, 8% tell us that they bought a home or apartment with their own money this year, another sign that some Millennials are taking these big steps.

To download the PDF version of this insight article, click here.