For First Time, Millennials And Gen X Were A Majority Of Electorate In 2016
Young voters were a driving force behind Bernie Sanders’ campaign in 2016. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Political strategists, take note: For the first time, millennials and Gen Xers outvoted their elders in 2016, according to data from the Pew Research Center.
Fully 69.6 million millennials (defined as people who were 18 to 35 in 2016) and members of Generation X (ages 36 to 51) cast votes in 2016, according to a Pew analysis of data from the Census Bureau. By comparison, 67.9 million baby boomers and members of older generations voted.
This is the culmination of a steady march of the young electorate slowly catching up to the middle-aged and elderly electorates in terms of size.
It’s not exactly surprising news — more and more millennials have been hitting voting age all the time, while boomers and older Americans are dying off.
But it is nevertheless an important reminder to parties and politicians that a shifting electorate could mean shifting strategies for future campaigns.