The millennial generation is larger and more racially and ethnically diverse than its baby boomer counterpart, while for the first time a majority of children under 5 nationally and on Long Island are minorities, according to 2014 U.S. Census Bureau population estimates out Thursday.
Nationally, millennials -- those ages 14 through 32 -- numbered 83.1 million in 2014, compared with 75.4 million baby boomers, who ranged in age from 50 to 68. It's the first time the bureau has compared the two generations but was unlikely the first time millennials outpaced baby boomers, a bureau spokesman said.
The bureau found millennials represented more than a quarter of the nation's population and were "far more diverse than the generations that preceded them, with 44.2 percent being part of a minority race or ethnic group."
Millennials outnumbered baby boomers in New York as well. A Newsday analysis of census data showed there were 5.25 million millennials in 2014, compared with 4.7 million baby boomers. The data did not provide a racial breakdown at the state level, nor could comparisons be made between millennials and baby boomers at the county level.
The nation's growing diversity was powered by younger age groups, according to the bureau, which found that 50.2 percent of the nation's children under 5 were members of racial and ethnic minority groups in 2014, "becoming majority-minority for the first time."
Long Island registered a bare majority -- 50.1 percent -- of children under 5 who were members of minority groups, up from 48.4 percent in 2013. There were 154,322 children under age 5 on the Island in 2014, almost evenly divided between 77,033 non-Hispanic white children and 77,289 minority children, according to the bureau's estimates.
New York State, which already had a majority-minority under age 5 population in 2013, saw that percentage increase from 53.6 percent that year to 54.4 percent in 2014.
The 2014 estimates examined group changes at the national, state and county levels by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin.
Overall, the bureau said the nation has grown more racially and ethnically diverse within the past decade -- rising from 32.9 percent minority in 2004 to 37.9 percent in 2014.
Long Island continues to see similar changes, according to a Newsday analysis of the census estimates. Between 2013 and 2014, the Island's Asian population showed the greatest percentage increase, at 3.7 percent; followed by those who identified as being a part of two or more races, at 2.9 percent. The Island's largest minority group -- Latinos -- registered a 2.5 percent increase in population during the period, while the non-Hispanic white population declined by almost 1 percent.
The Island, like the nation, continues to see increases among its elderly population. Between 2013 and 2014, those ages 65 and older grew 2 percent in Nassau, from 218,570 to 223,045, and 2.5 percent in Suffolk, from 223,376 to 229,106.
Nationally, the elderly population rose from 44.7 million in 2013 to 46.2 million the following year. The bureau said this group, which it noted contains four years of the baby boomer generation, was 21.7 percent minority, making it less diverse than younger age groups.