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Key Difference – Baby Boomers vs Millennials

Generational differences are exciting to compare and contrast and sometimes the results may be surprising. Such differences have been the constant focus of many researchers, especially with regard to understanding how spending patterns and work values have changed over time. Baby boomers and millennials are two sound examples to compare generational differences. The key difference between baby boomers and millennials is that baby boomers are individuals born between 1946 and 1964 whereas millennials are individuals born between 1982 and 2004.


1. Overview and Key Difference
2. Who are Baby Boomers
3. Who are Millennials
4. Side by Side Comparison – Baby Boomers vs Millennials in Tabular Form
5. Summary

Who are Baby Boomers?

Baby boomers is a term used to refer to individuals born between 1946 and 1964. As of 2016, these individuals have reached the age of 52 to 70; thus, represent the retired and close to retirement age.

E.g. As per estimates, almost 75 million baby boomers have reached retirement age as of 2015 in the United States.

The generation of baby boomers commenced soon after the World War II ended in 1945, and the world experienced a significant increase in birth rates. During the boom, almost 77 million babies were born in the United States alone, amounting to nearly 40 percent of the American population. This large growth in population stimulated the disrupted economies due to war by creating a considerable rise in demand for consumer goods and employment.

Key Difference - Baby Boomers vs Millennials

Figure 01: Baby boomers have entered or close to entering the retirement age.

Traits of Baby Boomers

Following are some of the notable traits of baby boomers.

Competitive and Objective Oriented

Baby boomers are competitive and are highly motivated towards career progression.


Baby boomers are independent and self-assured. They are said to be independent than millennials, partly since they were raised during an unsettled time in history.


Baby boomers were raised in an era where resourcefulness was a necessary trait and at a time where technological advancements that are there in the modern days were not present.  As such, they were taught to obtain the maximum benefits from limited available resources.

Who are Millennials?

Millennials is a term used to refer to individuals born between 1982 and 2004. These oldest of these individuals have reached the age of 34 while the youngest of this generation is of age 12 as of 2016. Millennials are also referred to as Generation Y.

E.g. Millennials have surpassed the population of baby boomers in the United States where the number is reported to be exceeding 75.4 million

One of the most notable factors that distinguish millennials from baby boomers is the massive technology use of millennials. The Millennial generation is said to be the first to be born into a wired world, where they are ‘connected’ 24 hours a day. While smartphones are now common across all age groups, the highest usage belongs to millennials.

With many millennials entering the workforce by obtaining employment, they directly contribute to the economy. Spending patterns and trends of this workforce has to be closely monitored by businesses since they are different to former generations. The tendency towards online purchasing by youngsters is evidenced by a number of market research, which is significantly higher than non-millennials. Millennials are also the most educated generation in the Western history, with many individuals owning bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and professional qualifications. The increase in demand for private education has increased at high levels within a short period of time as a result.

Difference Between Baby Boomers and Millennials

Figure 02: Millennials are technology-savvy

What is the Difference Between Baby Boomers and Millennials?

Baby Boomers vs Millennials

Baby boomers are individuals born between 1946 and 1964. Millennials are individuals born between 1982 and 2004.
Use of Technology
Use of Technology is significantly low with baby boomers. Millennials are a technology-savvy generation who use technology products heavily.
Role of women
In the generation of baby boomers, women were encouraged to embrace their roles as wives and mothers with limited focus on careers. In the generation of millennials, women increasingly pursue educational and career goals.

Summary – Baby Boomers vs Millennials

The difference between baby boomers and millennials is that baby boomers are individuals born between 1946 and 1964 and millennials are born between 1982 and 2004. According to the above, it is distinct that a number of differences exist between the two generations, especially with regard to the use of technology and the role of women. Understanding these differences is very important for businesses since the purchasing patterns are directly influenced by generation specific characteristics.

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1.”Baby Boomer.” Investopedia. N.p., 09 July 2015. Web. Available here. 04 July 2017.
2. Pappas, Christoforos. “8 Important Characteristics Of Baby Boomers eLearning Professionals Should Know.”  ELearning Industry, 20 May 2016. Web. Available here. 04 July 2017.
3. Radcliffe, Brent. “Millennials: Finances, Investing, & Retirement.” Investopedia. N.p., 16 June 2017. Web. Available here.04 July 2017.

Image Courtesy:

1. “State Farm and Harris Poll conducted a State of Neighbors survey” by State Farm (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
2. “More baby boomers wanting climate action – PeoplesClimate-Melb-IMG_8282” by Takvr (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr