According to Forbes, about 10.8 million of us. And right now, millennials are responsible for 80% of the births in the United States. And 40% of millennials are already parents.
This is a very statistically significant number. As Gen X winds down their parenting years, all signs point to another population boom–as more and more Gen Y “kids” enter their prime birthing years. Even the oldest millennials are in their early 30s, and so there remains a large swath of millennials just now getting ready to be come parents.
The differences are even prevalent on my own Facebook timeline. Pictures of friend’s kids have taken the place of pics from a night at the bar. Gatherings of friends usually involve at least 1 child, and invitations to kids’ birthday parties are sometimes more prominent than those to house parties (millennials, by the way, are more likely to use Facebook to invite people to birthday parties than traditional snail-mail).
However, and this comes as little surprise, millennials are waiting later than ever to have children. The average age of the first-time of the Gen Y parent is hovering around 30, up significantly since 1980, when the average age was closer to 25. Millennials are in an interesting place. Many of us entered the workforce as the economy tanked, pushing back plans for families, and pushing to the front paying back student loans and just finding our footing in a career. As a result, it can create a “wait until life is perfect” moment to have children which, from my experience, will rarely ever come. In turn, we may see more millennials either having fewer children, or not having any at all. I’m likely in a minority of millennials that will have two children before 30.
It’s likely much too soon to see if we’ll see an echo boom (as millennials were). But as 9,000 millennial women give birth every day, the number of millennial parents is certainly growing, and we’ll certainly see their impact on parenting.