For Oldest Millennials, This Year's Birthday May Hurt

Per the 'Wall Street Journal,' 43 is the age when Americans typically stop feeling young
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2023 12:42 PM CDT
Updated May 13, 2023 3:50 PM CDT
For Oldest Millennials, It May Be an Unwelcome Milestone
   (Getty / Helin Loik-Tomson)

The first members of the generation we know as millennials came around in 1980, which means they're turning 43 this year, notes Clare Ansberry in the Wall Street Journal. And that just happens to be the average age that Americans stop feeling young, according to this survey by the Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research. The youngest members of the generation have a while to reach the potentially unwanted milestone—they were born in 1996. Ansberry cites other research showing that the early 40s is when the typical American starts noticing the telltale signs of aging, including gray hair and joints that begin creaking.

"They aren't feeling like the young ones anymore," says Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University and author of Generations. It's obviously different for everyone, and Ansberry interviews people of different ages for their perspective. At the Guardian, Sophie Brickman—born in 1984—wrote a recent essay about her approaching 40s that serves as a warning of sorts for her fellow millennials.

"Happiness is U-shaped—it declines and bottoms out in your 40s, so report countless studies, until it starts to inch its way up again in the 50s," she writes. "This is a remarkably consistent finding, across countries and cultures." For the record, studies suggest 47.2 is the low point, after which the rise begins, she notes. "So, fellow elder millennials, heads down. I'll keep an eye out for your walker if you keep an eye out for mine." (More millennials stories.)

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