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Neil Howe

Generations Expert and Demographer

  • Expert on American generations, teaching audiences about the trends of the upcoming workforce
  • Co-authored several best-selling books used by businesses, colleges, and government agencies
  • Originally coined the term “Millennial Generation”

Topics & Types
Economic OutlookFuture TrendsGenerations & DemographicsHistoryAuthors

Neil Howe, best-selling author and national speaker, is a renowned authority on generations in America. He gives readers and audiences powerful insights into who today’s generation are, what motivates them as consumers and workers, and how they will shape our national future. He is a great choice for any forward-looking organization that wants to grasp the big picture. Howe’s broadly cyclical perspective—oriented around familiar generational life stories—will put “the long term” into a stunning yet personal focus that will not soon be forgotten.

A historian, economist, and demographer, Howe is a founding partner of the consulting firm LifeCourse Associates. He is a marketing, personnel, and government affairs consultant to corporate and nonprofit clients, and has spoken and written extensively on the collective personalities of today’s generations—who they are, what motivates them, and how they will shape America’s future. He is also a recognized authority on global aging, long-term fiscal policy, and migration. His current titles include: Senior advisor to the Concord Coalition and senior associate to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC.

Howe has coauthored several books on generations with William Strauss, all best sellers widely used by businesses, colleges, government agencies, and political leaders of both parties. Their first book, Generations (1991), is a history of America told as a sequence of generational biographies. Generations, said Newsweek, is “a provocative, erudite, and engaging analysis of the rhythms of American life.” Vice President Al Gore called it “the most simulating book on American history that I have ever read” and sent a copy to every member of Congress. Newt Gingrich called it “an intellectual tour de force.” Howe’s second book on generations, 13th Gen (1993), remains the best-selling nonfiction book ever written about Generation X. Of Howe and Strauss’s third book, The Fourth Turning (1997), Dan Yankelovich said, “Immensely stimulating…We will never be able to think about history in the same way.” The Boston Globe wrote, “If Howe and Strauss are right, they will take their place among the great American prophets.”

Howe and Strauss originally coined the term "Millennial Generation." Their fourth book, Millennials Rising (2000), has been widely quoted in the media for its insistence that today’s new crop of teens and kids are very different from Generation X, and, on the whole, doing much better than most adults think. “Forget Generation X-and Y, for that matter,” says The Washington Post, “The authors make short work of most media myths that shape our perceptions of kids these days.” LifeCourse Associates has since released several application books on Millennials—including a Recruiting Millennials Handbook for the United States Army (2001), Millennials Go To College (2003, 2007), Millennials and the Pop Culture (2005), Millennials and K-12 Schools (2008), and Millennials in the Workplace (2010). Neil Howe’s work with Millennials in colleges and in the military was recently featured by CBS’ 60 MINUTES.

Previously, with Peter G. Peterson, Howe co-authored the book, On Borrowed Time (1989; reissued 2004), a pioneering call for budgetary reform. According to Harvard’s Martin Feldstein, former Chairman of the President’s Council on Economic Advisors, “This book should be read by everyone who wants to understand how government spending can be controlled."

Howe’s articles have appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, American Demographics, USA Weekend, and other national publications. He has drafted several Social Security reform plans and testified on entitlements many times before Congress. He has written extensively on budget policy and aging and on attitudes toward economic growth, social progress, and stewardship. He co-edits the “Facing Facts” faxletter for the Concord Coalition and co-authors numerous studies for CSIS, including the Global Aging Initiative’s Aging Vulnerability Index and The Graying of the Middle Kingdom: The Economics and Demographics of Retirement Policy in China). In 2008, he co-authored, The Graying of the Great Powers, with Richard Jackson.

Howe grew up in California, received his BA at U.C. Berkeley, studied abroad in France and Germany, and later earned graduate degrees in economics (MA, 1978) and history (M.Phil., 1979) from Yale University.

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