In 2020, the two youngest generations in America – Millennials and Generation Z – will have the ability to flex their political muscle on a new level. For the first time, their numbers will practically match that of Baby Boomers and older generations, a dramatic shift from the makeup of the electorate during the 2016 election.
While all living Millennials – those born between 1981 and 1996 – were of voting age during the 2016 election, only the oldest members of Generation Z were old enough to vote. However, the number of eligible Gen Z votes continues to climb with every subsequent year.
In 2020, according to a report by Axios, Millennials and Generation Z will make up 27.3 and 10.2 percent of the electorate, respectively. Together, they will account for 37.5 percent of eligible voters.
When examining each generation separately, Baby Boomers will still make up the majority of the electorate, coming in at 28.5 percent. However, the number of Silent generation and older voters is declining, and will likely come in at around 9.5 percent in 2020, which is below the number of Gen Z voters.
Together, Baby Boomers and older generations will make up 38 percent of the electorate, just 0.5 percent more than Millennials and younger voters.
In comparison, during the 2016 election, Boomers and older generations accounted for a total of 43 percent of the eligible voters in America.
The impact on the 2020 election, of course, will not be known until that day comes. However, the younger generations are more ethnically and racially diverse than their older counterparts. Nearly half of the post-Millennial generation in the US identify as something other than “white.”
Older generations, however, are historically more likely to actually vote in elections. While Baby Boomers and older Americans were 43 percent of the electorate in 2016, they cast almost half (49 percent) of the ballots.