Wednesday, January 10, 2001
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Posted on: Wednesday, January 10, 2001

New book looks at graduates of the year 2000

Cincinnati Enquirer

Smart as they are, they wouldn’t recognize Howdy Doody if they tripped over his bandanna.

To them, the Kennedy tragedy was a plane crash, not an assassination.

They have never lost anything in or gotten romantic on shag carpet.

They are the millennials.

Since they were born in or around 1982, and graduated in 2000, they have been labeled as the lead group of a new generation . . . and our best hope for a better world.

In "Millennials Rising — The Next Great Generation," researchers and authors Neil Howe and William Strauss describe them as "less violent, less sexually charged, and less vulgar" than their predecessors. "They are more numerous, more affluent, better educated and more ethnically diverse than any other youth generation in living memory."

In the book (Vintage, $14) the authors use a variety of other adjectives to describe them, almost all of them good: optimistic, responsible, cooperative, trustful, law-abiding, smart, believing.

In discussions, almost all of them said satisfying careers and good relationships with their families were most important to them. Many said they believed their parents expected more from them than parents expected from earlier youth generations.

"They feel stressed in ways that many of their parents never felt at the same age. Pressure is what keeps them constantly in motion — moving, busy, purposeful, without nearly enough hours in the day to get it all done," Strauss and Howe say.

Still, "confident is a good word to describe how millennials feel about life after graduation," the authors said. In the early ’70s, about 33 percent of boomer teens planned to attend a four-year college, a figure that rose to 54 percent for gen-X teens in the mid-’80s. For the millennials, that figure has now reached (as high as) 71 percent."

Strauss and Howe, both of Virginia, are product-development, marketing, human-relations and strategic-planning consultants for business, media and government. They host Internet discussions with readers at and

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