Millenials compared to previous generations: an empirical analysis

Millenials compared to previous generations:
an empirical analysis

Radaev V.V.

Dr. Sci. (Econ. ), Prof. Head of Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology, First Vice-Rector, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

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For citation:

Radaev V.V. Millenials compared to previous generations: an empirical analysis. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2018. No 3. P. 15-33


The paper comes up with an idea of fundamental social change derived from the generational shifts in contemporary Russia. A sociological approach towards the generational cohort analysis is developed. We provide an original classification of generations based upon historical conditions faced during the years of emerging adulthood. A broad range of social indicators is used for empirical exploration of inter-generational changes. A special emphasis is made upon the youngest adult generation of millennials coming out of their adolescence in the 2000s. Data were collected from the annual Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS-HSE) in 1994–2016. Methods of rank correlations and logistic regressions are used as statistical tools to reveal significant differences among generational cohorts with regard to the family planning, use of digital technologies, commitment to the healthy lifestyles, religious affiliation, and subjective well-being. Retrospective analysis is also applied to control the impact of age on generational cohorts. In most of the considered cases, we have found significant and robust differences between millennials and previous generations over time of observations. However, patterns of change are different. In some cases, like use of digital technologies, millennials contribute to acceleration of existing trends whereas in other cases, like alcohol consumption and smoking, they provide a break in these trends.

social shifts; generational differences; millennials; population surveys; Russia


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Content No 3, 2018