Tru Access Blog - ARE MILLENNIALS THE OTHER AMERICANS?

Statistics show that millennials are much more likely to engage in interracial relationships and 65% more likely than their grandparents to be of a bi-racial or bi-cultural identity. For millennials that are filling out their own census forms or other data forms and applications, the “other” box has quickly grown in popularity.

Many millennials that I have spoken to indicate that they simply check other or check nothing at all on forms that request racial or ethnic background information. There were also a few who said that they check all of the above, but that’s another story for another time. Americans that identified themselves as being more than one race grew by 32% in the last decade according to census data.

Millennials are not only thinking outside the box, they are living outside the box.

I remember working with MTV as a client several years back when they decided to launch MTV Tr3s, which is now simply known as Tr3s. The insights that led to the development of the Tr3s channel were very telling of this generation. At the time, the MTV Network offered MTV that appealed to Young American Pop Culture and MTV Latino that appealed to the Young Adult Latino Culture in America. And as accommodating as that may have been for past generations, this generation was a new era that represented a host of bi-cultural identity viewers.

There was an entire population of Hispanic Youth that were born in America and share in American values and culture, but are very connected and true to their Hispanic heritage and country of origin. This bi-cultural population did not sit back and allow the existing options to dictate to them who they were. They defined who they were. I applaud MTV for listening and paying attention.

Many millennials are bi-racial and/or bi-cultural and are having kids that will be multi-racial and truly multi-cultural. This is a generation that is multi-faceted in every way and is comfortable sharing and expressing that “multi-facetdness”, including in their racial and cultural identities.

Color lines have defined American generations for years. Millennials are ushering in a new generation of “other” that is literally changing the face of America. The census has their work cut out for them in fitting future generations into a box. But I guess so do the rest of us.

Which box do you live in?