10:21 GMT24 November 2020
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    US Millennials and Generation Xers accounted for a larger portion of votes than other generations for the first time in 2016, according to data collected by the Pew Research Center’s Richard Fry, a labor economist.

    About 70 million millennials (ages 18 to 35) and Generation Xers (ages 36 to 51) cast their votes in 2016, in comparison to 68 million Baby Boomers and members of the Silent and Greatest Generations.

    This is not exactly surprising news — as the size of the young electorate increases, aging voters grow old and die.

    Baby Boomers have made up the largest percentage of the electorate since 1984 but their impact is slowly diminishing. The number of millennials reaching voting age is expected to reach an all-time high in 2036, according to Census Bureau calculations. The Census Bureau also estimates that Generation X's population will peak in 2018.

    "The influence and clout of the Baby Boomers is waning, and millennials are rising," Fry stated in an interview.

    Although millennials' voting influence is growing, there is still room for improvement. Half of eligible voters in that demographic showed up in 2008 and only 49 percent turned out in 2016. 

    "The millennial population and the millennial electorate, they're going to continue to grow in size. So far their turnout hasn't really materialized. We would expect their turnout to increase more as they mature," according to Fry.

    The rise of millennial voters is likely a positive change for Democratic politicians. Pew Research polls in 2016 show that millennials favor Democrats by 21 percentage points. Generation Xers are not far behind, favoring Democrats by an 11-point margin. Baby Boomers were equally split while the Silent Generation leaned Republican by 7 points.

    However, millennials are less likely to strictly align with certain ideologies and organizations, which may result in today's young voters not being as predictable as other generations at the polls.


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