In a write-up accompanying the study, Pew notes, "They are relatively unattached to organized politics and religion, linked by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no rush to marry— and optimistic about the future."
Specifically, the research found as many as 50 percent of millennials describe themselves as political independents. Though they also tended to lean left, supporting President Barack Obama and embracing liberal policies more than older generations. (Via KTTV, KARE)
According to a writer for The Wire, that could mean bad news for Republicans.
"For the Republican Party, it's hard to see Pew's new survey of American millennials as very good news. … Pew walks through a number of social issues, finding younger people more likely to support same-sex marriage, legal marijuana and immigration reform."
The study also found millennials tend to differ from previous generations on traditional American institutions like religion and marriage as well.
On religion, 29 percent of millennials said they were not affiliated with any particular faith. According to Pew that's the highest the number has been in the last quarter-century.
And when it comes to marriage, just 26 percent of millennials have tied the knot. That's compared to 36 percent of Gen Xers, 48 percent of baby boomers, and 65 percent of members of the silent generation, when they were at the same age. (Via Pew)
The study also revealed a bit of a paradox when it comes to education and economic issues.
Though millennials are the most-educated group of young adults in American history, they also have higher levels of student loan debt, poverty, and unemployment than the two generations preceding them. (Via YNN)
Interestingly, only about half of Millennials describe themselves as patriotic, the lowest of any of the last four generations. Though about the same number say America's best days are ahead of it — the highest of any of the generations. (Via Pew)