The time of adulthood has arrived for Millennials. According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials is the generation born between 1981 and 1996 (those born from 1997 are often referred to as “Gen Z”). Therefore, as of 2023, Millennials range between the ages of 27 and 42, placing them well into adulthood.
Comprising roughly one-fifth of the Country’s total population, Millennials in Japan number around 27 million people. They not only constitute a significant portion of the active workforce but also wield considerable influence over Japan’s consumer society for the coming decades. It’s worth noting that Millennials are also in the ideal age range for starting a family. So, how are Millennials doing in this test of adulthood?
Their approach to adulthood is notably more cautious when compared to that of their parents. Millennials, particularly when it comes to spending, tend to be quite frugal. Their financial mindset leans heavily toward conservatism: their initial instinct is to save rather than spend. Owning a house isn’t a consideration for most; it’s viewed as a huge and risky investment. This careful approach extends to starting families as well. In 2022, the number of births fell below 800,000, marking the first time this has occurred since records began in 1899.
Japanese Millennials are the offspring of the “Lost Decade,” a period characterized by slow and negative economic growth in Japan during the 1990s. Given the prolonged economic stagnation, lasting over a decade, they never had the opportunity to experience a robust economic situation. While the repercussions of the “Lost Decade” may still linger, this generation possesses a positive attitude and a determination to redefine the conventions and norms, particularly those related to work, that have long shaped Japan.